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1877 Mappa Selenographica original map of the moon, by German lunar observers Beer and Mädler

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Image of 1877 Mappa Selenographica original map of the moon, by German lunar observers Beer and Mädler
  • Image of 1877 Mappa Selenographica original map of the moon, by German lunar observers Beer and Mädler
  • Image of 1877 Mappa Selenographica original map of the moon, by German lunar observers Beer and Mädler
  • Image of 1877 Mappa Selenographica original map of the moon, by German lunar observers Beer and Mädler

This map came from the personal estate of a famous University of Arizona Astronomer-Photographer and scientist, Ewan Whitaker who helped NASA plan the Apollo 11 and 12 landing sites on the moon in 1969. Whitaker also worked on the first photographic atlas of the moon, which was completed in 1967. In early 1960, Nasa pulled together a team of astronomers and scientists led by Dr. Gerard Kuiper, together they began working in the newly constructed University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Lab. The team worked on seven RANGER Missions before one of them finally worked and began sending back images of the moon. Nasa needed help mapping the moon so that they could plan a landing site for the Apollo 11 and 12 Lunar Expeditions. Images from Ranger would be pieced back together as they were shot in long narrow strips. These would then be composited back together so that detailed maps could be made. There’s a great documentary called Desert Moon on YouTube, which explains how these scientists and Whitaker helped to map the moon.

This map was printed in four quarters by Beer and Mädler of Germany and was cut out and combined by Whitaker to show the whole moon in one map. His notes and initials show in the picture may be covered up by the framing. It is framed without Plexiglass or Glass over the image because I'm not sure how this map will be displayed.

Info About the Authors: The original map has the honor of being the first large-scale moon map to be based on precise micrometric measurements. Beer was a banker and amateur lunar observer, possessing a fine Fraunhofer refractor. Mädler, the major figure in the enterprise, was an astronomer who teamed with Beer to measure the position of every lunar feature from a large number of fundamental control points. The resulting map, the result of four years of effort, is in four sections and is on a scale of just over 38 inches to the moon's diameter, the map was without question the most influential lunar publication of the century. One of a kind available in our shop in Tucson, Arizona.