Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Release of the new Virtual Moon Atlas Pro 6

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Ch. Legrand

Ch. Legrand

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 18
  • Joined: 26 Oct 2005
  • Loc: France

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:23 AM

Dear colleagues,

We are happy to announce you that we have just released the new Virtual Moon Atlas "10th anniversary / Pro 6" version !

In 2002 we published the first version of the VMA. Today, for its 10th anniversary, we are happy to present you the new Pro 6 version, the most complete computerized lunar atlas.

Since December 2009, release date of the Pro version 5, we were waiting the datas sent by the recent lunar probes US LRO and chinese Chang'e 2 so that we could format them for use in VMA. It's now done and we also fill this gap period in our production to add new modules and functionalities. We have also update and increase the databases. We hope that all this new work will make your lunar observing sessions still more interesting.

And we can't not forget to dedicate this new version to Neil Armstrong whose "small step and giant leap" have conducted many of us to become amateur astronomers and specially lunar observers.

We will now present you all the news of this version that spread us in the new 10 years coming :

Because of the increasing number of modules in VMA Pro version, VMA is launched now from a "Command Center" that gives you a direct access to each module and to the associated documentations.

We have realized a new special database about the main Web sites dedicated to Moon exploration and lunar surveys.
- General sites
- Lunar atlases
- Lunar probes
- Apollo missions
- Lunar observers associations
- Amateurs lunar pictures
- On line lunar ebooks
- Others lunar sites
The new "WEBLUN" © module manages a quick access to these sites. So, if your computer has a WiFi access during your observing sessions, you will be able to consult these sites directly from VMA while observing.

- Upgrade of the terminator dynamic shadows with LRO datas
- New CCD cameras field visualization on the map
- New altazimutal and "Dobson" telescopes dedicated lunar globe orientation

THE NEW "LRO / Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter" HIGH RESOLUTION TEXTURE :
We propose you a new texture corresponding to the best released datas of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter probe. It reaches 100 m resolution per pixel. We are waiting a new more precise release in the following monthes. This texure is linked to the new IAU lunar nomeclature.

THE NEW "CE2 / Chang'E 2" TEXTURE :
Chines authorities have released on 2012 february a global lunar map with a 60 m resolution per pixel. We have built a new texture comparable to the LOPAM texture yet available, but with an almost vertical lighting.

We have formatted for VMA the best digitized versions of old lunar maps in the public domain. You can know compare these pioneering works with today datas. These maps, sure, only show the visible face and the formations positions are sometimes far from the actual one. We propose you the following maps :
- Langenus / 1645 (Version : N & B)
- Hevelius / 1647 (Version : N & B & color)
- Cassini / 1676 (Version : N & B)
- Tobias Mayer / 1775 (Version : N & B)

- LRO Surface roughness (Surface roughness according to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter datas)
- LRO Surface slope and roughness (Surface slope & roughness according to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter datas)
- LRO Silicates (Surface silicates amount according to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter datas)
- Chang'e Daytime surface temperature (Surface temperature during lunar day time according to Chang'e 1 datas)
- Chang'e Nighttime surface temperature (Surface temperature during lunar night time according to Chang'e 1 datas)

Jennifer Blue and her team have revised the IAU lunar nomenclature with the LRO datas. We have also revised the VMA databases to incorporate this new IAU lunar nomenclature and to correct an important number of initial mistakes.

The fifth VMA database presents 52 000 anonyms craters compiled by G. Salamunićcar, S. Lončarić and E. Mazarico. Thanks to them for their permission to use their work in VMA. With this addition, VMA contains now more than 60 000 formations references.

Because of the presence of formations without an official IAU name in the VMA global database, Christian Legrand has conceived the "LUN / Lunar Universal Number" © that permits to localise in an unique way every lunar formation more than 10 m large. As it's unique for each lunar formation and as everybody can built easily the LUN of each formation, it becomes a very powerful tool for future recognizition of anonymous formation and discussions on them. This VMA exclusive field is now incorporated in every VMA databases.

THE NEW PICTURES LIBRARY "T1M PDM / 1 meter telescope of Pic du Midi" :
We have extracted pictures taken by a french team with the 1 meter telescope of Pic du Midi observatory (JL Dauvergne, P. Tosi, E. Rousset, F. Colas, C. Villadrich,et T. Legault ) which are the best lunar pictures ever taken from the Earth surface. Really amazing. Thanks to the team to allow us in using their production.

Damian Peach is one of the best world lunar imager. He gives us authorization to buit a "Best of Peach" pictures libray with his production for supporting VMA. Damian has produced one of the most detailed and most numerous set of lunar formations and it's a very important addition to the software. Thanks to him !

The general documentation of VMA PRO 6.0 has been updated with new screen captures and pictures showing the new abilities of this version 6.

As the amount of datas included in VMA has grown considerably with the new HR textures, we now distribute a complete version on a DVD for people whose Internet connection is too slow for reliable downloads.

We invite you to download freely and test this new version.


Thank you in advance for your support to our action,

Very sincerely,

Christian Legrand et Patrick Chevalley

#2 Dandelion


    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 95
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Sarasota, FL

Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:44 AM

Thank you!

#3 killdabuddha



  • *****
  • Posts: 1137
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2011

Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:51 PM

Thank you! Been usin yer program over a year now. Very much appreciated.

#4 dan777


    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 831
  • Joined: 16 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Indiana

Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:09 PM

I've installed some of the optional modules.
Very impressive!
Thanks for all the effort.

#5 Swamp Fox

Swamp Fox

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 324
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2006
  • Loc: South Carolina

Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:12 AM

A great contribution to observers...thank you very much!!

#6 simpleisbetter


    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1848
  • Joined: 18 Apr 2011

Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:29 AM

Very nice work. Sourceforge was VERY slow yesterday, but well worth the wait. Thanks.

#7 GaN


    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 54
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2005
  • Loc: Europe, Czech

Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:31 AM

I appreciate this program as best Astro-software, Great work and thank you very much to creator.

#8 azure1961p


    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11609
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Triton

Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:29 AM

Many thanks I am a great fan of your work.


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics