Étienne Trouvelot's 19th century astronomical drawings compared to NASA photos

Lauren Weiss, examing the New York Public Library's digital collections, compares drawings from the age before astronomical photography to NASA's finest images of celestial bodies. [via Hacker News]

Of all the gorgeous, funny, odd, and impressive items I've stumbled upon, the E. L. Trouvelot astronomical pastel drawings sit in my top ten. Trouvelot was a French immigrant to the US in the 1800s, and his job was to create sketches of astronomical observations at Harvard College's observatory. Building off of this sketch work, Trouvelot decided to do large pastel drawings of "the celestial phenomena as they appear…through the great modern telescopes."