The Face of the Moon

4. Fontana, Francesco (1602-1656).

Novae coelestium terrestriumq[ue] rerum observationes. -- Naples: apud Gaffarum, 1646.

Fontana began drawing the moon in 1630, and several of his early maps were circulated and even printed in the works of other astronomers in the early 1640's. Not until 1646 did Fontana manage to put together his own book. It contains woodcut illustrations of a number of planets, but the lunar engravings make up the bulk of the work. In fact, this might be called the earliest lunar atlas, since it includes images of the moon at many different phases.

image - click to enlarge

The drawing made on December 6, 1645, shows the moon several days after full. It vividly captures the ray systems of Copernicus (D) and Kepler, and the brightness of Aristarchus. The ray that runs from Tycho (C) all the way across the Sea of Serenity to Atlas and Hercules (K and H) is also effectively delineated.

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