Who Published the First Moon Map?


Quick Answer

The first moon map was published by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in a short treatise, "Sidereus Nuncius," or the "Starry Messenger," in March 1610. Using a Dutch telescope, he observed that the surface of the moon was not smooth and spherical but mountainous with craters like Earth’s surface has.

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Full Answer

However, the first drawings of the moon were made in July 1609 by Englishman Thomas Harriot. Although he made the drawings several months before Galilei's treatise, he did not publish his work, and his name is relatively unknown.

Galilei was unable to buy a telescope and constructed one. He recorded lunar observations, Jupiter’s moons and stars of the Milky Way. The treatise was an instant success, making Galilei famous throughout Europe.

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