The Face of the Moon

16. Beer, Wilhelm (1797-1850); and Mädler, Johann Heinrich (1794-1874).

Mappa selenographica. -- Berlin: Apud Simon Schropp & Soc., 1834.

Because Lohrmann's map did not appear in full until 1878, the Beer and Mädler map has the honor of being the first large-scale moon map to be based on precise micrometric measurements. Beer was a banker and amateur lunar observer, possessing a fine Fraunhofer refractor. Mädler, the major figure in the enterprise, was an astronomer who teamed with Beer to measure the position of every lunar feature from a large number of fundamental control points. The resulting map, the result of four years of effort, is in four sections and is on a scale of just over 38 inches to the moon's diameter, the same as Lohrmann's. It was followed by an accompanying text volume in 1837. The map was without question the most influential lunar publication of the century, and formed the basis for later maps by T.W. Webb and Edmund Neison (see items 19 and 21). It is also the earliest, and still the finest, lithographed lunar map

image - click to enlarge

The Beer and Mädler map is crammed with detail that is almost impossible to appreciate with the naked eye; under magnification, an incredible richness is revealed. The illustration shows a mere corner of the northeast quadrant, with Aristotle at the left and the Alpine Valley at the right. Mädler inaugurated the practice of naming minor craters, such as Egede A,B, and C at bottom center, with Roman letters appended to the name of the nearest large crater. This portion of the map may be compared with the first engraving of the Alpine Valley by Bianchini (see item 11).

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