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New Virtual Moon Atlas freeware Version 7.0, Official release of the version
post Jun 29 2020, 01:35 PM
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Member No.: 7956

Hello everyone,
On the advice of Dr Phil Stooke, we are pleased to announce you the launch of the new version 7 of the Virtual Moon Atlas (VMA) freeware.
In 2002 appeared the first version of VMA and we upgraded it periodically. Since then, it has been downloaded over 1 million 800,000 times worldwide.
Since 2012, the launch date of version 6.0, we have been waiting for data coming from the recent Chandrayann 1 and GRAIL lunar probes as well as new, more precise data from the venerable Kaguya and LRO probes to be able to make them compatible with VMA.
Today, new data having been collected by these lunar probes and processed by several teams. And we have now enough "material" to release a new version. We are happy to present you now after three years of development the version 7 of "Virtual Moon Atlas".
You will find below the new detailed features of this version. We invite you to download it free from our site and test it.


We are ready to provide you with any additional information you may require, or to correct any mistake that could survive despite of our constant vigilance
We hope this tool will help you in your Moon surveys or observations.
Best regards,

Christian Legrand and Patrick Chevalley

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Improvement of the "ATLUN" module ©:
The ATLUN module has been improved on five points:
- Modernization of the interface : Addition of buttons and sliders with more current appearance change
- Possibility to use the VMA on two separate monitors
- Possibility to move and delete the system of informative tabs
- Ability to use dark themes in Windows 10
- Improved database management
- Increased names display capacity
- Introduction of different translations of the VMA interface or of certain databases in German, Catalan, Czech, Spanish, Greek, Dutch, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian and Slovak, in addition to French and English.

We had retrieved the best digitized versions of new public domain lunar maps produced from recent probes data and then adapted them to the VMA display engine.

1) The level 6 "LRO / Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter" photographic texture:
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, currently in lunar orbit, transmits images of the lunar surface reaching a resolution of 1 m. As full coverage at a given resolution progresses, Mark Robinson of Arizona State University and his LRO team publish new global maps of the Moon. The one we are introducing today in the VMA corresponds to the highest resolution available to date. It reaches a resolution of 59 m.

2) The reconstituted texture "LOLA-Kaguya-Shaded"
Mosaic of the original images of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (USA) and Kaguya (Japan) probes assembled from USGS data. This texture has a variable resolution reaching 60 m / pixel in the best places. It is a "texture with shaded relief". It is not a photograph because it was established by computer from the altimetric data collected by the two probes to create a DEM (Digital Elevation Model).

3) The "Clementine negative" texture:
It is a black and white albedo texture, but the gray levels are reversed as in a photo negative. This particularly highlights the ejecta from recent craters.

4) The texture "USGS Unified Geological 2020"
It is a color texture showing the different natures of lunar terrains established from the most recent results of several probes and produced by Corey M. Fortezzo (USGS), Paul D. Spudis (LPI), and Shannon L. Harrel (SD Mines) for the US Geologic Survey / Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff.
Thank you to these teams for producing these useful datas

We have treated 5 new "scientific" layers to study the lunar surface:
- GRAIL "Bouguer gravity" (Variation in lunar gravity according to the so-called "De Bouger" method) / 2 versions
- GRAIL "Free air gravity" (Lunar gravity variation according to the so-called "Free air" method)
- GRAIL "Crustal thickness" (Variation of the thickness of the lunar crust)
- Chandrayann "Water" (Detection of surface water by the Indian Chandrayann 1 probe). Note that in 2004, the VMA was used in the preparation of this mission. A fair return of things.
Thank you also to these teams for producing these useful datas

We have converted supplementary historical maps to make them usable inside VMA. You can now compare the work of these other pioneers of lunar exploration with current data. These maps show of course only the visible face of the Moon and there are sometimes significant differences in the position of the formations although these are more and more reduced with the last two proposed:
- Rheita / 1645 (B & W version)
- Divini / 1649 (B & W version)
- Riccioli / 1651 (B & W version)
- Beer & Mädler / 1845 (B & W version)
- Fauth / 1936 (Color Version)

Three new databases have been converted to VMA format:
- Integration of the new version of the anonymous crater database LU 78487 by Gordan Salamuniccar and his team (78,000 craters described)
- Integration of the new anonymous crater database "Global lunar craters database" by Stuart Robbins of the Southwest Research Institute (1,300,000 craters identified and measured)
- Integration of the NELIOTA database produced by the National Observatory of Athens which identifies contemporary meteoritic impacts on behalf of ESA.
Thank you to these authors for their authorization to use their work in VMA.

"Best of Cathala" image library:
Luc Cathala is one of the best lunar imagers using a 625 mm diameter Dobsonian. With a QHYSIII178M camera, he takes pictures sometimes reaching a resolution of 400 m. He gave us permission to build a “Best of Cathala” image library with his production, which becomes the largest of the VMA amateur image libraries containing 679 formations images in different lightings. Another big thank you to Luc for sharing his remarkable work.

The general documentation of VMA 7.0:
The illustrated documentation of VMA. has been updated with screenshots and photos in situation showing the new possibilities offered by this new version 7. We have also produced a PDF version of 200 pages which includes the manuals of the different modules and the tutorial.

To make this new version available for those who do not have a high-speed Internet connection to download it (More than 8 GB with modules, textures, scientific layers, image libraries), or for those who wish to support our action , we are now editing a distribution SD card installing the entire VMA version 7.0 (Command Center, ATLUN, PHOTLUN, DATLUN, WEBLUN modules, databases, “low resolution” textures, “high resolution” textures, dynamic shadows, scientific layers and public domain image libraries ) directly on the PC. ). This card is then reusable by the owner.

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