Drawings of sunspots, 3-16 May 1644.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This platinotype print shows an engraved image of the Sun's surface with sunspots from 3-16 May 1644. The dazzling Sun was safely viewed by projecting its image through a telescope on to a white surface. It is taken from the book 'Selenographia' by Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687), published in 1647. As the title suggests, the work deals mainly with the German astronomer's observations of the Moon. Hevelius established the foremost observatory in Danzig, now Gdansk, Poland in 1641. In his lifetime, he also produced a catalogue of 1,500 stars, discovered four comets and was the first person to observe a transit of Mercury acros the Sun.