February 7, 2007

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A Chinese Globe


images by Hubertus v. Riedesel, Heidelberg, Germany

China is launching a spacecraft to the Moon in April. As with the US and the Soviet Union in the 1960s, there must be tremendous excitement and national pride at recent flights of taikonauts (astronauts) and the upcoming lunar orbiter. An example of how China is informing its citizens is this lunar globe that Hubertus recently bought in the Chinese Space Museum in Beijing. The globe is large - 100 cm in circumference - and annotated with the names of the maria and major craters. The depiction of surface features is more realistic than most earlier globes, and that is because it is based on the US Geologic Survey’s famous airbrush map. This is the only lunar globe (or map) that I have seen in a non-western language, but with India launching a probe to the Moon in 2008 perhaps there will be more. I hope so.

Chuck Wood

Related Link:
China’s Moon plans

Yesterday's LPOD: Like Getting New Glasses

Tomorrow's LPOD: A Lost Peninsula


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