April 5, 2007

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Free Books About the Moon

drawings of Copernicus (left) and Vendelinus (right) by Weinek.

I have made a terrible mistake which has and will cost me great quantitities of time. I have started to explore the tens of thousands of books and journals that Google is digitizing and placing online. All of the older material (mostly older than 75 years old) is no longer protected by copyright and thus Google allows downloading. I have done that for the two major Moon books that Google has digitized so far: Neison’sThe Moon - and the Conditions and Configuations of its Surface (1876) and Proctor’s The Moon - Her Montions, Aspect, Scenery, and Physical Condition (1873). If I did not already own physical copies of these I would be beside myself with joy. But I did find something I don’t have and didn’t know existed. In the 1894 volume of the Publications of the Lick Observatory there is a 137 page paper by Ladislas Weinek called Selenographical Studies, based on Negatives of the Moon taken at the Lick Observatory. Weinek studied images taken with the Lick 36″ refractor (stopped down to 8″) with an enlarging lens, spending as much as 224 3/4 hrs (!) on making a drawing of Copernicus from details seen on the negatives! Professor Weinek stated that all my drawings have been made with the extremest possible care and precision… Sadly, the drawings have no particular scientific value, and in fact, depicted as tiny lunar features, details that were actually photographic grains. There are many more other old books and journals in the Google digitized library - I am afraid that I will spend too much time looking for them!

Chuck Wood

Related Links:
Rükl plates 31 & 49

Yesterday's LPOD: A Major Highland Boundary?

Tomorrow's LPOD: Better the Second Time Around


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