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Too many errors for a relatively expensive and amateur guide
on 12 April 2016
Now this is a beautiful book, don’t get me wrong. It feels substantial; the quality of the binding, cover and photographs (and text layout) feels sumptuous, ... however, in a book that costs around 40 of your earth pounds, purporting to be an atlas with many an amateur/casual astronomer reliant on accuracy to help them, I have to say I was spectacularly unimpressed by the humongous errors that have been allowed to slip through this expensive tome.
Now this is NOT the fault of the sellers and the authors and publishers are fully responsible. There is not even a list of erratum in my 2012 print! What is even more surprising is that these errors were not only not noted by the initial expert moon photographers and academics when constructing the layout and during the editing process but were also missed a second time when translated by Mr Storm Dunlop (a lunar specialist!). Even the Sky At Night reviewer missed them. Perhaps Cambridge University Press considered the expense of a reprint too ... – anyway TO HELP BUYERS -
In Section 5 (Atlas/Hercules) the 2nd image (1st page bottom) does not belong there. It is an image of Craters (Cr) Plinius and Dawes at the southern edge of Mare Serenitatis a fair distance away to the south.
Section 15 (Abulfeda)’s 2nd image (bottom left) clearly does not belong there. The numbers do not correlate with the text as the image should be in Section 12 (Vallis Rheita) even though the reference numbers 1, 2 and 3 don’t tally with that text either!
Section 20 (Mare Serenitatis). A minor point but the authors omitted the Apollo 17 landing site where it was visible in the images. I did find this later in Section 6 (Montes Taurus) but this may not be the first place one (a casual observer) would look.
Section 41 (South Pole). There is quite clearly a picture (bottom right) showing a labelled wrinkle ridge and a small crater (1 and 2) which are actually located to the south of Promontorium Heraclides in the north west quadrant of Mare Imbrium. A long way away from the South Polar region! The annotations (1 and 2) do not match any relevant text there either.
Section 54 (Sinus Iridum)’s (bottom right) image is quite clear Cr Clavius which is pretty much diametrically opposed in real location! with reference numbers that make no sense. I could also not find two of the reference number locations for two features mentioned in the Section’s text.
In Section 57 (North Pole) there are two more howlers. The 1st image (1st page upper) is actually Rupes Altai and has been labelled incorrectly. The 4th image (2nd page lower) is quite clearly a photo of Cr Gassendi incorrectly annotated with (rille?!) Scoresby M. The escarpment and crater are nowhere near the north pole or even each other.
Don’t let the foregoing put you off as this book feels great (if you still like the feel and smell of a book) and the pictures give you a great feel for what you’ll see (even, as in my case, at a greatly reduced magnification) and what to look for. However, for a reasonably expensive book (especially these days with online resource competition) from Cambridge University Press, I found the errors and seemingly fudged annotations quite annoying and I was glad to have paid the majority of the value with a voucher. If you bare the errors above in mind this still makes for a useful easy location guide (possibly some help with the best observing time wouldn’t have gone amiss!) with some fabulous photos.