Riccioli – the Founder of Modern Lunar Nomenclature

vintage map poster moon

Map of the Moon’s Surface, 1742.

Published under the official title: Tabula Selenographica. Selenography is a scientific discipline focused on mapping the Moon’s surface. This early 18th-century map is derived from the works of two scientists who stood at the forefront of the modern-era survey of the Moon: the German-Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius, a founder of modern day lunar topography, and Giovanni Battista Riccioli.

As religion and science were close disciplines in the 17th century, Riccioli was a Jesuit priest with a strong interest in astronomy. He received theological education and besides theology, he was later officially assigned to also focus his professional career on astronomy. He was based in Bologna where he founded an observatory and was the first scholar to describe the constant acceleration of falling bodies. Moreover, he created a system of lunar nomenclature that is still used today. The Sea of Tranquillity, the area where man first set foot on the Moon in 1969, was named by Riccioli.

Buy restored reproduction of this map printed on a high quality handmade paper here.

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