Lunar craters, 1845-1860.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm

Lunar craters, 1845-1860.

Nasmyth, James

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Made 1850-1871, this photograph shows a plaster relief model of the Moon's surface centred on the crater Archimedes and the Apennine lunar mountains. Constructed by James Nasmyth, a succesful industrialist and engineer, it is based on lunar observations made at his home in Kent, England, using 20-inch reflecting telescope. Working from his Moon drawings, he calculated the height of the lunar features by measuring the length of their shadows. These were then photographed with suitable lighting to produce better results than could be achieved at the time using direct lunar photography. Nasmyth went on to photograph a whole series of his lunar models. They were used to illustrate the book, 'The Moon' that Nasmyth published in 1871 with James Carpenter.



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