November 30, 2015

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A New (Old) Lunar Atlas

Originally published December 11, 2004


Image Credit: Jim Phillips

A New (Old) Lunar Atlas

Amateur astronomers have observed the Moon for hundreds of years. Most have had no way to permanently record their observations, so we know only the few drawings that have been preserved by publication in ephemeral amateur journals such as the BAA's The Moon. We now have LPOD and hundreds of individual websites that include amateur lunar images, drawings and reports, but I doubt if these will be viewable in future decades as technology changes. The best storage medium for preservation over hundreds of years is a book. These two pages from a one-off bound volume from 1903 provide an example of how even a self-published book preserves observations. Jim Phillips recently bought Mond Atlas by Erich Leiner of Southern Germany/ Konstanz. There are 15 text pages and 20 original pencil drawings, all neatly labeled in ink. The 18 years old Leiner used a 2.5" refractor at 144 power to make the drawings. Leiner, who later became an astronomer. was born Sept 10, 1885 and died in 1945. Where will your prize drawings and images be in 2105, 101 years from now? I encourage everyone to incorporate their own lunar observations into a personal Moon Atlas and to distribute copies to friends and local libraries so that your work will survive future digital destruction.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
Thanks, Jim, for sharing your recent discovery!

Related Links:
Erich Leiner Genealogy

Yesterday's LPOD: Overlooked Secondaries

Tomorrow's LPOD: Zebra Crater

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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