venerdì 20 giugno 2014

Lunar domes are structures of volcanic origin which are usually difficult to observe due to their low heights. 
Different methods for determining the morphometric properties of lunar domes (diameter, height, flank slope, edifice volume) from image data or orbital topographic data, and for determining multispectral images data providing insights into the composition of the dome material, have been examined and discussed in the book published by Springer Lunar Domes: Properties and Formation Processes. Furthermore, the book we have published provides a description of geophysical models of lunar domes, which yield information about the properties of the lava from which they formed and the depth of the magma source regions below the lunar surface.

Lunar domes represent a clear testimony of the volcanic processes occurred in our Moon. In fact, the differences in dome shapes and rheologic parameters raise broad questions concerning the source regions of the various dome types allowing the knowledge of which differences in the lunar interior are responsible for the different lunar dome properties observed on the surface. 
The book Lunar Domes: Properties and Formation Processes is a reference work on these elusive features, providing the methods used to study quantitatively these volcanic constructs. 
The purpose of the present Lunar dome Atlas, complementary to the book, is an uniform collection of CCD terrestrial images for each dome including really high resolution imagery with the scope of a presentation of all the dome fields information, including tables describing their properties in terms of morphological measurements and rheologic properties. Lunar domes with their typically low flank slopes display a significant contrast with respect to the surrounding surface only when the solar elevation angle is lower than 4–5°. For this reason, as illustrated in the Lunar dome Atlas, it is necessary to image these volcanic edifices under strongly oblique illumination condition. Only slightly different solar elevation angles may result in strong differences in the appearance and visibility of the lunar domes and their shadow. High resolution CCD imagery of the elusive lunar domes is the most difficult branch of the astrophotography of the Moon. Notably, the detailed study of lunar domes is only possible based on images of the lunar surface acquired under strongly oblique illumination conditions, for their measurements and for the maximum detail. The recording of finer details will be obtained with telescopes optically of high quality, large diameter, and favorable observing sites in order to reduce the effect of the atmospheric turbulence.