'View of the Moon', c 1850.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
One of a set of teaching cards published by James Reynolds & Sons, London, England around 1850. Titled 'View of the Moon', the chart identifies prominent features on the surface of our nearest neighbour in space. Like all the other planetary bodies in the Solar System, the Moon has been subjected to a continuous bombardment from space by meteorites and asteroids of various sizes. The darker areas, known as maria (seas), are basins created by huge impacts, which then flooded with molten lava. They are more recent features than the lighter coloured heavily cratered highlands of the Moon. One of them, the Sea of Tranquility, was chosen by NASA as the landing site for Apollo 11, the first manned mision to land on the Moon.