25 Jun 2016

400 Years of mapping the Moon & Planets

A lecture by Henrik Hargitai  from  the NASA Ames Research Center
given to the © SETI Institute on 24 May 2016
Duration: 1h 08m

If you are interested in the history of astronomy then this illustrated talk is a Must-See program. Here you will have the opportunity to view many of the old charts & illustrations of the Moon & planets. It also gives an insight into how NASA choses the landing sights on Mars for its Rovers & landers.

You may also like to watch again my programs: The Story of the Refractor, and Observing the Moon from 2014.


Since Galileo, astronomers and planetary scientists work hard to draw accurate representations of planetary surfaces. Planetary mapping today is a tool of geological investigation, landing site selection and also a visual statement of our ever expanding horizon of discovery. From copper engravings to dynamic online maps, the technique of presenting planetary maps changed a lot. In this presentation I will show some early examples of how planetary maps can communicate unspoken preconceptions (no, its not the canals), and show how we mapped the Navua Valles, which may have episodically provided habitable environments on the inner rim of Hellas Basin on Mars. The talk is part of the International Map Year celebrations.

Richard Pearson F.R.A.S.

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