Already downloaded over 1 million 900,000 times worldwide. Used in several books, foreign observatories, by CNRS research professors, websites, TV shows, astronomical magazines and to prepare the Chandraayan 1 lunar mission. Used by the European Space Agency (ESA) in the framework of the NELIOTA program. Recommended by the French Ministry of National Education.
Free Moon Study and Observation Program
For Windows 7 to 11 and Linux
New: To (re)discover new uses of VMA, Christian Legrand leads a series of pages entitled “Les astuces de l'AVL (VMA tips)” on the dedicated "Passion Lune" forum ( In french, sorry).
UPDATE 8.1 OF VMA
Unfortunately a bug was found in the original data provided with VMA 8.0.
You can now download the updated version 8.1 to fix that.
2023: NEW VERSION 8.0 OF VMA !
In 2002 appeared the first version of VMA. For its twentieth anniversary, we are pleased to present to you the new version 8.0, of the AVL, the most complete computer-based Moon atlas available.
To celebrate this important anniversary and considering the upcoming resumption of lunar missions, we have added a large number of new features in this version 8 at the level of modules, databases, textures & layers, and images.
We hope this will make your observations and studies of the Moon even more exciting.
THE NEWS :
New Modules :
- Addition of access buttons to the new CalcLun and NoteLun modules
- Access to module documentation via a drop-down list
- Addition of a profile plot associated with the distance measurement
- Addition of a display of the limits of the impact basins (see above)
- Added a line underlining the terminator
- Redesign of the “Ephemeris” and “Notes” tabs in connection with the new CalcLun & NoteLun modules
NOTELUN (New module)
Module for entering observation or information notes allowing direct links to all types of external documents (html / jpg / mp4 / doc / txt, etc.) associated with the sheets of the concerned lunar formations
- Simplified loading of personal databases.
- Simplification of multiple queries.
- Moon-related website database update (100 websites listed)
NEW GENERAL TEXTURES:
- New “LRO WAC Big shadows” texture presenting the lunar formations with larger shadows emphasizing the relief
- New “LAC HR” texture made by David O'Brien of the Lunar & Planetary Institute (Thanks to him!) using Nearside LAC maps
- New “China Geological map” texture created by Jinzhu Ji and his team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences
The new “HISTORICAL TEXTURES”:
- New historical texture “Elger 1895”
- New historical texture “Neison 1881”
- New historical texture “Lunar Albedo Reference Chart 1967 / NASA & USAF”
NEW SCIENTIFIC LAYERS:
- 8 new layer “Geological periods” made by Charles Byrne
- 10 new layer “Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Diviner temperature”
- New layer “Chandrayann 1 MAFIC”
- New layer “Chandrayann 1 Pyroxène”
- New layer “GLD 100 Slopes”
- New layer “GRAIL Crustal thickness”
- New layer “GRAIL Free air Gravity”
- New layer “Kaguya Clinopyroxene”
- New layer “Kaguya Orthopyroxene”
- New layer “Kaguya Olivine”
- New layer “LRO Christiansen silicates”
- New layer “LRO TiO2”
- Redefinition of the standard fields of the bases (Up to 177 fields for a formation)
- Introduction of the pages of 15 new “printed” atlases (ReiseAtlas / Dase / Pau / Kaguya / Chang'é 1…) in the Named and Satellite databases
- Introduction of Elger's (1895) formation descriptions in the Named and Satellite databases
- New “Lunar Impact Craters Database” supplementing data from named formations and satellites
- New base “Sinuous rilles” made by Debra Hurwitz and her team
- New base “Irregular Mare Patches” made by Le Quiao and his team
- New database “Impact basins” produced by Christian Legrand, compiling data from Charles Byrne, Charles Wood and other sources.
- New Base “NELIOTA 2022” (Meteor Impact) provided by Athens Observatory Team
- New base “Lunar pits” made by Mark robinson and the LROC team
Thank you to all those scientists who allow us to use their work!
NEW IMAGE LIBRARY:
- New image library “Best of Brahic”
- New image library “Best of Villadrich”
- New image library “Lunar pits” produced by the LROC team
- New image library “Oblique LRO” produced by the LROC team
- New image library “SMART-1” produced by the Bernard Foing team
- New image library “Oblique Kaguya” produced by JAXA
Thank you to all those scientists who allow us to use their work!
The general documentation of AVL 8 is now separated into documentation specific to each module and in pdf format.
Do you wish to support us ?
Many users have asked us how they can support our work. First of all, remember that it remains above all voluntary and free and we are not asking for any financial aid for this action which only reflects our respective astronomical passions: study of the Moon for Christian Legrand and astronomical programming for Patrick Chevalley.
Clearly, this production requires costly periodic upgrading of the computers and software we use.
To meet your wishes, we felt that we could not refuse voluntary donations. If you wish to be at the origin of such a donation, go to the page "How to make a donation?" For more details. So that the benefit of your support comes back to you anyway, we will allocate these funds as much as possible to the purchase of computer and/or astronomical material or library resources usable for the improvement of VMA or the realization other astronomical products or actions for amateur astronomers (Books, other software, conference equipment, observation and shooting equipment, etc.).
And to support us, you can also acquire the SD card.
We thank you in advance for your support.
Christian Legrand and Patrick Chevalley
Description of the program
This program carried out by Patrick Chevalley and Christian Legrand makes it possible to visualize the appearance of the Moon for any date and time, to pilot telescopes with computerized mounts on the Moon and to study in detail the lunar formations using a database of over a million entries and a strong image library of nearly 9,000 photos compiled by Christian Legrand.
It is designed to be easy to use and in particular “in the field” according to the particular needs of an observation, but also to be able to study “in the room” the Moon and its relief. It is interfaced with “Cartes du Ciel” freeware developed by Patrick Chevalley. This set is undoubtedly one of the most complete sets on the market. Note also that the VMA is entirely “autonomous” and does not require an Internet connection for its operation.
Better than a long description, we invite you to look at the screenshots and to browse the manual, also in PDF format and the quick guide to get a more precise idea of its possibilities.
This program was designed according to the needs of the majority of Moon observers. But it is also thought to be a tool for people interested in selenography on a personal or professional basis.
The authors are determined to constantly evolve it towards new functionalities. However, if you think it lacks a useful function for everyone, please let us know. It may be possible to add it in a future version, if it has not been planned and if the software structure allows it.
It is possible to choose the language used by the program. Currently 2 languages are available in the basic version: French and English. We maintain an English version to benefit American amateur astronomers because the majority of the data used in the VMA is American. Other translations can be downloaded.
The authors hope that other passionate amateurs will volunteer for translation into their own language in order to make this program accessible to amateurs around the world.
Why is it free?
This program was born from the collaboration between Christian Legrand, passionate about lunar observation, co-author of the guide "Discover the Moon" published in French by Larousse, but also in English, German and Spanish, with Patrick Chevalley, author of the free planetarium "Skychart" worldwide appreciated.
The authors make it available free of charge to the general public, amateur astronomers observers or photographers of the Moon, students to approach selenography and professional astronomers. They thus hope to promote observation and knowledge of our satellite, which remains one of the next steps in human space exploration.
The “Virtual Moon Atlas” is free software; you can redistribute it and / or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even an implicit guarantee of MERCHANTABILITY or CONFORMITY TO A PARTICULAR USE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
Textures, scientific layers, database information and images are subject to external copyrights and can only be used with the Virtual Moon Atlas, the authors of which have obtained authorizations for use.
This program is entirely written with Lazarus.
Source code is available from https://github.com/pchev/virtualmoon
The calculations of the ephemeris of the Moon use the JPL ephemeris. The ephemeris DE421 is included with the program.
Many calculations are based on the essential “Astronomical Algorithms by Jean Meeus”.
The OpenGL display uses GLScene.
Trademarks: Microsoft, Windows Seven, Windows 10 are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
The names “Virtual Moon Atlas”, “AtLun”, “PhotLun”, “DatLun”, “WebLun”, “PocketLun” and “L.U.N. / Lunar Universal Number ”are copyrighted by Ch. Legrand.
If you have any questions, suggestions or remarks about the software, you can contact Patrick Chevalley.
If they are about the overlays, the databases or the pictures libraries, please contact Christian Legrand.