Sketch of the Moon by Galileo

Sketch of the Moon by Galileo

 
This is one of Galileo’s first 4 sketches of the Moon, published in the year 1610.
 
“On the fourth or fifth day after new-moon, when the Moon presents itself to us with bright horns, the boundary which divides the part in shadow from the enlightened part does not extend continuously in an ellipse, as would happen in the case of a perfectly spherical body, but it is marked out by an irregular, uneven, and very wavy line, as represented in the figure given, for several bright excrescences, as they may be called, extend beyond the boundary of fight and shadow into the dark part, and on the other hand pieces of shadow encroach upon the light:—nay, even a great quantity of small blackish spots, altogether separated from the dark part, sprinkle everywhere almost the whole space which is at the time flooded with the Sun’s light, with the exception of that part alone which is occupied by the great and ancient spots.
 
I have noticed that the small spots just mentioned have this common characteristic always and in every case, that they have the dark part towards the Sun’s position, and on the side away from the Sun they have brighter boundaries, as if they were crowned with shining summits. Now we have an appearance quite similar on the Earth about sunrise, when we behold the valleys, not yet flooded with light, but the mountains surrounding them on the side opposite to the Sun already ablaze with the splendour of his beams; and just as the shadows in the hollows of the Earth diminish in size as the Sun rises higher, so also these spots on the Moon lose their blackness as the illuminated part grows larger and larger.”
 
Galileo, Siderius Nuncius, 1610
(Translation by Edward Stafford Carlos, 1880)
 
~M.