Epic Moon: A History of Lunar Exploration in the Age of the Telescope

Epic Moon: A History of Lunar Exploration in the Age of the Telescope

2001 | 363 Pages | ISBN: 0943396700 | scanned PDF | 140 MB

The Moon has always been one of the most obvious and in some ways the most enticing astronomical objects - even from early times, it was Queen of the Night, and the naked eye sees more detail than even the largest telescopes reveal on Mars. As early as 1609 Galileo's first telescope showed the Moon to be another world. The Moon has thus been the object of intense study not only since the 1960s but for at least the previous three and a half centuries. The eye arrived before the boot. By the same token, the first "race to the Moon" was not undertaken by American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts but by German and British selenographers in the nineteenth century, who mapped lunar detail so painstakingly that by 1878 - the year Julius Schmidt of the Athens Observatory published his great Moon map and also the year that Congress organized the United States Geological Survey and assigned to it the task of making large-scale maps of the United States and its territories - it could be said without exaggeration that the earthward hemisphere of the Moon had been depicted in greater detail and with more precision than many parts of the American West were depicted in existing maps of the time.

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