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July 8, 2006

Selenospheres or Lunar Globes

Filed under: — chuckwood @ 7:12 pm

Globes are almost magical when their spherical shapes are in your hands. They are also practical in showing spatial relations among all landforms on the Moon. And with a globe the feature of interest is never on the edges of different map sheets! Thanks to manufacturers/vendors for use of globe images! Please email me information about any lunar globes - or hemispheres - that you know of which are not mentioned here. Thanks!


1661 Christopher Wren - First lunar globe. In 1661, Wren created a lunar globe for Charles II. The globe is described as ”being made of paseboard, molded in relief and painter with a scale in miles, and which bore the courtly, contrived inscription: “To Charles the Second, King of Britain, France and Scotland, for whom Dr. Christopher Wren has created the new world of this Selenosphere, because, for one of His magnitude, “one [world] is not enough”.”
The globe is long lost but it is shown in a painting of Wren that hangs in the Sheldonian Theater at Oxford. The globe is described on p 180-183 of Lisa Jardine’s book, On a Grander Scale: The
Outstanding Life of Sir Christopher Wren
that is partially online.

1797 John Russell - Magnificent 300 mm diameter globe with brass circles. Globe moves to illustrate librations.

1839: Wilhelmine Witte (1777-1854) produced a globe in two hemispheres based on Madler’s map. Madler showed the globe to Alexander Humboldt and Sir John Herschel and the globe was later donated to Kestner Museum in Hanover. Madler married Frau Witte’s daughter too! For a humorous, and presumably fictional account of Madler and Frau Witte’s globe read this.

1880s? Flammarion and Gaudibert - Moon Globe

1960s University of Arizona, Tucson - Two hemispheres (one in front of the museum and one inside), ~ 5 ft diameter.

1960s Hastings, Nebraska - Globe entrance to planetarium

1960 Pergamon Moon Globe - Diameter 33 cm. A reproduction is available for 125 British Pounds.

1963 Replogle - 8″ globe

1969 Rand McNally - 14″ high

1969 George Philip and Son - Moon Globe

AtlasGlove.jpg1970s Atlas Globe This 15 cm globe has no identification marks except the name Atlas. Here is more info.

1990s Sky & Telescope - 12″ so-called NASA Globe, is it the same as the Rand , $50. User review

2004 Columbus Globe - Lunar Globe made in Germany, 26 cm diameter. Available 98 British Pounds.

ChineseMoonGlobeSM.jpg 2007? Chinese Globe - 100 cm in circumference, based on USGS mapping. More info.

1 Comment »

  1. Hello there,

    Being a globemaker ( I am delighted that you have listed our reproduction of the Pergamon Press, I have now actually found an original example from the 1960’s proving that it was actually published. Can I point out that you do not list the Russian Verion printed in the late 1950’s or the Rath Globen East German 33cm who also published the Pergamon Press Lunar Globe. as well as this in 1968 Airfix issued a relief globe of the moon due to interest in the proposed Moon landings.

    Lastly, we Greaves & Thomas have recently published a small moon globe of 8.3 cms diameter so that it is in proportional scale with a 12″ diameter/30.5 cm Earth Globe, you will need to keep them at distances of 30 ft apart before you attempt to shine alogen lights on the two in order to demonstrate eclipses etc.

    Best wishes James Bissell-Thomas

    Comment by jamesbt — June 13, 2008 @ 12:21 pm

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