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

Springer, 2020, 1680 pp., Hardcover. $89.99.

This comprehensive, all-in-one handbook takes you on an incomparable journey of our closest celestial neighbor. Not since the golden age of 19th-century lunar guidebooks has one text managed to cover the Moon in such detail as this three-volume set. The handbook 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 discuss the physical aspects of the Moon’s features, offering brief biographical information on the person for whom the feature is named and how each individual was involved in the development of science and selenography from ancient to modern times. 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.”

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