The Face of the Moon

27. Krieger, Johann Nepomuk (1865-1902).

Mond-Atlas. -- Neue Folge. -- Vienna: In Kommission bei Eduard Heinrich Mayer, 1912.

Krieger was a gifted draftsman, but he realized that it made little sense to spend time drawing features that the camera could record. So he had the brilliant idea of starting with a low-contrast photograph as a base and adding the finer details by hand at the telescope. The resulting maps of selected craters were not equalled until the U.S. Air Force began issuing its own series of photobase lunar charts in the 1960's. Krieger published the first volume of his drawings in 1898; it contained 28 plates. Due to overwork, his health broke shortly thereafter, and he died before the contemplated second volume could be issued. His manuscripts were taken over by Rudolf König, and the remaining drawings were finally published in 1912.

image - click to enlarge

The posthumous publication contains one of the most impressive drawings of the crater Gassendi ever made. Gassendi has always been a favorite object for observers, because of the intricate rill system on the crater floor. (To see how the U.S. Air Force mapped this same region sixty years later, see item 39.)

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