The Works of Galileo

Starry Messenger (1610)

The Race for the Moon

Galileo’s book set off the 17th century race for the Moon. Not a race to go there, but a race to map its surface, which was accomplished at mid-century in the Selenographia, a lunar atlas by Hevelius. One misinterprets Galileo to accuse him of exaggerating the size of the small Aristarchus crater (bottom center) accurately depicted by Hevelius. (Figure 1) (Figure 2) (Figure 3) (Figure 4)

Figure 1 Figure 1 - Return to Text

Hevelius, 1647. Frontispiece. Note the Arabic garb of Galileo, who is set opposite Ibn Al-Haytham (Alhazen), the author of an important work in optics.

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Figure 2 Figure 2 - Return to Text

Hevelius (1647). Portrait.

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Figure 3 Figure 3 - Return to Text

Hevelius, 1647. Quarter Moon.

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Figure 4 Figure 4 - Return to Text

Hevelius, 1647. Full Moon.

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Exhibit credit: Kerry Magruder, with the assistance of , Marilyn B. Ogilvie, Duane H. D. Roller.

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