June 14, 2009

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Neison Reborn

Neison's map 22 (and all the others) are now available at the Moon Wiki

Although there had been earlier Moon-mapping activity among British observers, the first comprehensive publication was Neison's 1876 book, The Moon, and the Condition and Configurations of Its Surface. The text for this book is often said to have been derived from Beer and Mädler's classic Der Mond of about 40 years earlier, but whether or not that was so doesn't matter. By making a detailed map and its description widely available to English readers, Neison brought a British imprint to lunar studies and provided a reference for comparison with later observations. Neison's map is full of details, but larger craters almost disappear - do you see Vendelinus? - because the author breaks their rims down into smaller pieces, rather than stressing their continuity. Neison's The Moon marked the state of knowledge of the Moon in 1876, and although Julius Schmidt's more complete map and book appeared in 1878, Neison's work has always seemed to me more valuable, not just because it is in English, but because Schmidt doesn't describe the Moon so much as his own herculean efforts to measure it.

Chuck Wood

Related Links
The Moon, and the Condition and Configurations of Its Surface
No link to Schmidt's book and map at the Moon Wiki because there isn't one!

Yesterday's LPOD: Half a Golden Quarter

Tomorrow's LPOD: Convergence


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