Luna Cognita A Comprehensive Observerís Handbook of the Known Moon Book

Luna Cognita A Comprehensive Observerís Handbook of the Known Moon Book

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About this product

Model:  sprgr_9781493916634
Part Number:  9781493916634

Luna Cognita - A Comprehensive Observer’s Handbook of the Known Moon

Authors: Garfinkle, Robert A.

  • Gives detailed advice for observing all lunar nearside features, from the largest craters to the tiniest ridges
  • Includes tips for drawing lunar landscapes
  • Provides an unparalleled collection of lunar history and facts

This comprehensive three-volume set takes you on an incomparable journey of our closest celestial neighbour. Not since the golden age of 19th-century lunar guidebooks has one author managed to cover the Moon in such detail as this all-in-one handbook. 

Volume 1 begins with a section on the Moon’s place in human history, mythology and lore, before gravitating closer to the Moon itself through scientific sections on the Earth-Moon system, lunar motions and cycles. Following these are technical chapters on how to purchase, use and care for lunar observing and photography equipment. Techniques for observing the Moon (both with the naked eye and optical instruments) are detailed as the reader approaches the Moon’s surface on this visual tour-de-force.

A close-up exploration of the Moon is the result. The “crater-hop” chapters in Volumes 1 and 2 discuss the physical aspects of the Moon’s features, offering brief biographical information on the person for whom the feature is named, as well as how each individual was involved in the development of science and selenography from ancient to modern times. Volume 3 contains a plethora of useful appendices that cover a range of topics, from catalogues of lunar features such as nearside lunar domes to a comprehensive list of publishers and observing organisations. 

Luna Cognita goes far beyond any recent work in both breadth and depth of coverage on the Moon. Written in an accessible, engaging manner for readers of all backgrounds and levels of expertise, this handbook is thus an invaluable resource for anybody who looks up at the glowing sphere in the night sky and wants to learn more about the “Known Moon.” 

About the authors

Robert A. Garfinkle, FRAS is an internationally recognized independent scholar on the history of astronomy and is a highly regarded amateur astronomer. He has been a professional writer for about 40 years. In addition to his two published astronomy books, Garfinkle has published book reviews, articles, and short stories. He is the author of the international best-selling astronomy book Star-Hopping: Your Visa to Viewing the Universe (CUP, 1994, 1997), a co-author of Advanced Skywatching (The Nature Company; Time-Life Books, 1997), and a contributing author to the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (Springer, 2007). Star-Hopping was the Alternate Selection for November 1995 of the Astronomy Book Club. Advanced Skywatching has been republished under different titles as well as having been translated into German and Spanish language editions. Reviews of Advanced Skywatching have praised the star-hopping section of the book, of which Garfinkle was the primary author.

His astronomical writings have also appeared in Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Selenology, The Journal of the British Astronomical Association, The Journal of the Irish Astronomical Society, The Journal of the Antique Telescope Society, The Observers’ Guide, The Observatory, The Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, and Deep Sky Journal. He is the Book Review Editor for The Journal of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers. Garfinkle also serves as the Historian for the Lunar Section of the British Astronomical Association and the success of his astronomical writings led to Garfinkle being elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of London in 1998 and in 2018 being honored by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) by naming Minor Planet 31862 Garfinkle for him.

Garfinkle is a life member of the California Writers Club (CWC). He is also the co-founder and first President of the new Fremont Area Writers (2008–2010), which is now the eighteenth branch of the CWC. In 2009, Garfinkle received the prestigious Jack London Award for outstanding service to his branch and CWC and in July 2010, he was elected President of CWC. He has also been awarded the Ina Coolbrith Award for service to CWC.


It is a comprehensive guide in three volumes, the type of which has not been published in such length for years. … This is an astonishing piece of work, 30 years in the making: an exceptional book that the writer should be very proud of. FIVE STARS.(Katrin Raynor-Evans, BBC Sky at night magazine, March, 2020)

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