The Face of the Moon

5. Hevelius, Johannes (1611-1687).

Selenographia: sive, Lunae descriptio . -- Gdansk: Autoris sumtibus, 1647.

No finer book on the moon has ever been published. In scores of illustrations, drawn and engraved by the author himself, Hevelius tracked the moon through every phase of an entire lunar cycle, and then incorporated the information gained into three large moon maps. The best-known of these three introduced a complete lunar nomenclature--unsuccessfully, as it turned out (see item 7 for the successful nomenclature). But the two other maps, though less often reproduced, are much more splendid examples of lunar cartography. One shows the full moon as it actually appears through the telescope--that is, with no shadows. The other is uniformly (and artificially) shadowed to show the craters as they appear at mid-morning on the moon.

image - click to enlarge

The illustration shows a detail of the southeast section (bottom-right) of the shadowed moon map. The ray system from Tycho dominates this view, but also evident are the ray systems around Stevinus A and Furnerius A, which appear like a pair of rabbit heads at bottom right. The overlapping trio of Theophilus/Cyrillus/Catharina at upper right also stands out.

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