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Unidentified photographer (English)
Photograph of the Moon
Salt print, from a collodion negative
5 1/8 x 6 1/2 ins
J. Paul Getty Museum
Descriptive notes from the J. Paul Getty Museum
[Accessed: 19 March 2011]
Although this photograph appears to show the dimpled surface of a distant moon crater, it actually represents a papier-mache or clay model, as it was technically impossible to take close-up views of the lunar surface in the 1850s. On the right side of the sheet, this crater-recognizable because of its distinctive features-is carefully labeled "Copernicus," after the great Polish voyager and scientist of the 1500s. On the upper left, a scale shows the size of the crater in miles.
The image, which once belonged to the distinguished astronomer John Herschel, reflected the new concern of scientists in the 1800s with detailed observation of this visible but unreachable place.