Crayon drawing of the Moon, 1796.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Sketch in crayon pastel drawn by John Russell RA (1745-1806) of the gibbous Moon at last quarter. The view is based on his observations of the Moon made through a telescope. An established portrait painter, Russell believed he could produce a more realistic and accurate portrayal of our lunar neighbour than had previously been achieved. Russell started his observations of the Moon in 1785 using a small refracting telescope fitted with an eyepiece micrometer to accurately measure the lunar features. His lunar sketches were later engraved and published in 1797 along with a Moon globe that was mounted on an elaborate brass stand and called 'Selenographia'.