Lunar crater model

Made:
1850-1871 in Penshurst
maker:
James Hall Nasmyth

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Plaster relief model, of a portion of the Moon's surface by James Nasmyth, showing the craters of the Archimedes, Autolycas and Austullus along with Apennine mountains.

Made 1850-1871, this plaster model shows the relief of the Moon's surface centred on the crater Archimedes and the Apennine lunar mountains. Constructed by James Nasmyth, a successful industrialist and engineer, they are based on lunar observations made at his 20-inch reflecting telescope. Working from his Moon drawings, he calculated the height of the lunar features by measuring the length of their shadows. These were then photographed with suitable lighting to produce better results than could be achieved at the time with direct lunar photography. Nasmyth went onto photograph a whole series of his lunar models. They were used to illustrate the book, 'The Moon' that Nasmyth published in 1871 with James Carpenter.

Details

Category:
Astronomy
Object Number:
1899-60
Materials:
complete, pine (wood), plaster
Measurements:
overall (flat): (he.) 55 mm x 475 mm x 580 mm, 2.4 kg
type:
model - representation
taxonomy:
  • disciplines
  • disciplines
  • science
  • natural sciences
  • physical sciences
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
Nasmyth

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