Moon Map, 1829

moonmap.jpg

[ View large, view very large.] I presume this is the map they used to guide their steam-powered dirigible airships to Luna back in the late Georgian/early Victorian eras.

Karte des Vollmondes nach Mayer, Schroter und Guithuisen - Popular Astronomy by ML Frankheim, 1829, Braunschweig (Bibliodyssey Flickr stream, via @bibliodyssey)

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  1. Someone should compare this to current maps
    and see if there were any changes.
    New craters, alien bases…..

  2. Johann Hieronymus Schröter began his detailed measurements of the moon in 1779; he published the first high quality lunar maps in his Selenetopographische Fragmente. I assume that this map was extracted from his (and Mayer’s) work.

    Around 1866 – thirty some years after this popular map was made – the German lunar observer Julius Schmidt claimed that the small crater Linne had changed appearance, from a deep crater into a much shallower white patch. Some of the evidence which he used was that its appearance had changed from what Schroter had diagrammed.

    Naturally, this was immediately controversial – a 2 or 3 km diameter crater had changed!

    Amateur astronomers (yep, me at age 12) would try to observe Linne to figure out what it really was. But it was just at the limit of my home-made telescope.

    My astronomy mentor, Ernst Both of the Buffalo Museum of Science, had studied lunar selenodesy and was familiar with Schroter’s, Madler’s, Fauth’s and other maps … he scoffed at Schroter’s interpretation.

    Later, as a grad student at the Lunar & Planetary Labs, I spent a delightful year studying (and mapping) the lunar surface, working with Bob Strom and Ewen Whittaker. By then, the controversy around the Linne crater had disappeared: Lunar Orbiter photos showed a relatively fresh crater surrounded by an ejecta blanket. It’s about 10^7 years old … young for a lunar crater, but way older than Schroeter’s suggestion!

  3. I presume this is the map they used to guide their steam-powered dirigible airships to Luna back in the late Georgian/early Victorian eras.

    The really hard job in those days was done by the collier sail-airships that had to leave fuel at the orbiting coaling stations en route for all those fancy-pants newfangled steamers.

    No one ever lauds the important legacy tech.

  4. For some fun, if ever you can get hold of a science fiction novel called “Martin Magnus, Planet Rover” by William F Temple there is a fun and engaging storyline within involving Linne-the stories are juvenilia (ie aimed at 1950’s teenagers), but he was a superb writer-a good friend of Arthur C Clarke. They are around in paperback (well the first two in the series of three are-as 1970 paperback reprints. The third was only produced as a hardback in the 50’s-rarer than hens’ teeth). If one is interested in Linne the story is really fun.

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