The Face of the Moon

37. Pease, Francis (1881-1938).

"Photograph of [lunar] Surface," facing p. 315 in: Goodacre, Walter. The Moon, With a Description of its Surface Formations. -- Bournemouth [Eng.]: Published by the author, 1931.

Until 1919, it was generally agreed that for all their accuracy and reliability, lunar photographs were still inferior to the human eye in capturing fine detail. Then in September 1919, the 100-inch Hooker telescope opened for business at Mt. Wilson Observatory. In a remarkable series of photographs taken by Francis Pease on September 12-15, the moon appeared as never before. The results were not placed before the general public until Goodacre published his lunar handbook and included several enlarged prints from these negatives.

image - click to enlarge

The photograph, taken September 15, 1919, shows the southern lunar highlands. The crater Maginus is at right center; Clavius is just above it to the right; smaller Tycho (with central peak) is below, near the right margin. As Goodacre himself commented, rather grandly: "These photographs reveal details which do not appear on any chart or previous photograph, and probably are now rendered visible to the human eye for the first time in the history of the race."

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