The Face of the Moon

24. Selenographical Journal.

A monthly bulletin of the Selenographical Society. vol. 1-5, April 1878 - December 1882. -- London: Warren Hall & James J. Lovitt, 1879-1883.

The moon acquired its own journal in 1878, when the British amateur William Radcliff Birt organized the Selenographical Society in London and launched this publication, under the editorship of Edmund Nevill (Neison). The Society and the Journal, alas, did not survive the death of their founder in 1881, and the Journal ceased publication after only five volumes. During its short lifetime, the most prominent subject of discussion was whether a new crater had just appeared below (north of) the Hyginus rill, just south of Mare Vaporum, near the center of the moon. Hermann Klein, a German astronomer and popularizer, made the claim for the new crater in 1876, and called it Hyginus Nova, or N for short. He used a series of drawings made by Julius Schmidt over the years to argue that the crater had suddenly and recently appeared. Many such drawings, by Schmidt and others, appeared in the various issues of the Journal.

image - click to enlarge

The Society planned from the beginning to issue its own lunar map, "a more complete and accurate map than any now in existence" (Nevill uttered this just before the publication of both the Lohrmann and Schmitt atlases). The first tiny section of that projected map appeared in the first volume, and showed, not surprisingly, the region around the Hyginus rill. The "new" crater is identified with a circled N.

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