Ewen Whitaker

Male, Person

1922 –


Who is Ewen Whitaker?

Ewen A. Whitaker is a British-born astronomer who specialized in Lunar studies.

He was an astronomer at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, becoming the director of the Lunar Section of the British Astronomical Association. He then emigrated to the United States and joined the staff of the Yerkes Observatory. In 1960 he left Yerkes, along with Gerard P. Kuiper, helping found the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, eventually becoming research scientist emeritus.

He worked on several NASA missions, and was successful in locating the landing site of the Surveyor 3. He has been considered by some to be the world's leading expert on mapping the Moon and lunar nomenclature. He was a member of the IAU's Task Group for Lunar Nomenclature. In 1999 he published a book on the history of lunar mapping and nomenclature, titled "Mapping and Naming the Moon"

He lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, Beryl.

This has been completely re-written by Mister Ewen A. Whitaker himself and typed in by a friend and temporary house guest of the Whitakers on 29 May 2010. Ewen A. Whitaker is a British-born astronomer who has specialized in lunar studies since 1951. During WW2 he was engaged in quality control—by UV spectrographic analysis—of the lead sheathing of hollow cables strung under the English Channel to supply gasoline to Allied vehicles in France. He obtained a position at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, engaged in UV spectra of stars, but became interested in lunar studies as a sideline, and drew and published in 1954 the first ever accurate chart of the South Polar area of the moon. After meeting Dr Gerard P. Kuiper, Director of Yerkes Observatory, Wisconsin, USA, at an International Astronomical Union congress in Dublin in 1955, he was invited to join Kuiper's fledgling Lunar Project at Yerkes, to work on producing the best photographic atlas of the moon available. Russian Sputniks heralded the dawn of the Space Age in 1957, and the Lunar Project was soon in NASA's limelight. The Photographic Lunar Atlas, Orthographic Atlas of the Moon, and rectified Lunar Atlas proved to be invaluable for the planning and operational stages of later spacecraft missions to the moon. The small Lunar Project moved to the University of Arizona in 1960 and became the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, now numbering over 300 scientists, technicians, and supporting staff. Ewen Whitaker retired from the LPL in 1978, but is still a member of the Task Group for Lunar Nomenclature of the IAU. He, his wife Beryl, and their family, live in Tucson, Arizona.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Jun 22, 1922
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Arizona

on July 23, 2013


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Ewen Whitaker." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 18 Aug. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/ewen_whitaker>.

Discuss this Ewen Whitaker biography with the community:


    Browse Biographies.net