The Face of the Moon

10. Eimmart, Georg Christoph (1638-1705).

"Genuina Corporis Lunaris Facies," plate 1 at p. 40 in: Zahn, Johann. Specula physico-mathematico-historica, -- vol. 1. -- Nuremberg: sumptibus Joannis Christophori Lochner, 1696.

The Eimmart lunar map was the least successful of all the large-scale moon maps of the seventeenth century, if success is measured by the number of copies and imitations that are spawned. It seems never to have been reproduced. Eimmart was a gifted artist and cartographer, and a reputable astronomer, but his rendition of the moon as it appeared to him on March 11, 1694 suffers from many deficiencies. Most notable is that it fails as a map, since many features are misplaced, the outlines of most of the maria are in error, and many prominent craters do not appear at all. However, if the engraving is viewed, not as a map, but as an impression, it is quite striking and evocative. For all the clarity of the Hevelius map, the full moon does not really look the way Hevelius depicted it, or the way Cassini did, for that matter; it does look very much as Eimmart drew it, surreal and shimmering and alive with light.

image - click to enlarge

The illustration shows a detail of the region around Copernicus, in the Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms); the Kepler ray system is to the left, and Aristarchus is at upper left. (Other depictions of Copernicus can be seen in items 30 and 45.)

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