May 6, 2014

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A Really Big Moon

image by Field Museum via Wired

This appears to be the largest globe of the Moon ever made. It had recently been acquired by the Field Museum of Chicago in 1898 when this photograph was taken. LPOD previously has shown a different photo of the globe and reported that it was made under the direction of the famous selenographer Julius Schmidt in 1854. A recent web page pointed out two long ago articles that provide more of its history. Apparently, the globe - really a hemisphere - had been thought to be in Bonn, Germany but actually had been in the USA for 20 years. The recent gift of the globe to the new Field Museum led to articles pointing out its new home. In 1898 Science magazine reported that 5 years of modeling and construction had been required to complete the 116 sections made of plaster over a frame of metal and wood. Nature stated that the 19 foot diameter globe was based on the map of Beer and Mädler with some additional details by Schmidt, whose own great map did not appear until 1878. Does anyone know what happened to the globe, assuming it is not somewhere in the basement of the Field Museum?

Chuck Wood
Thanks to Maurice Collins for pointing out the Wired link!

Yesterday's LPOD: The Truth

Tomorrow's LPOD: Rarely Seen Genius


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