The Face of the Moon

34. Elger, Thomas Gwyn (1838-1897)

The Moon: A full Description and Map of its Principal Physical Features. -- London: George Philip & son, 1895.

Elger was the first director of the Lunar Section of the British Astronomical Association, which kept up interest in the moon after the demise of the Selenographic Society. Using an 8.5" reflector, Elger made many drawings of the moon between 1884 and 1896; his sketchbooks survive, and are now in the possession of the British Astronomical Association. The Moon contains Elger's own lunar map, in four sections, with a diameter of 18 inches. It is much less complex than the maps of Neison, Schmidt, Mädler, and Lohrmann, and for that reason, one of the most usable lunar maps ever produced. Printed with the maria in green, and with easily legible type, it is still an ideal reference map.

image - click to enlarge

The illustration shows a detail from the first quadrant, including Mare Serenitatis and Mare Vaporum. Two small craters are of special interest: Linn, just below center in the Sea of Serenity, claimed by Schmidt in 1866 to have vanished, and Hyginus N at top right, claimed by Klein ten years later to be newly formed (see item 24). These purported transformations, Elger remarked, were responsible for the great rejuvenation of lunar studies that occurred in the late nineteenth century.

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