Lunar Frontiers

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For the past two-and-a-half years I have served as a research and curatorial intern at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum as part of my fellowship at the University of Notre Dame. Much of my work there has involved creating and curating a database of surviving pre-1775 refracting telescopes from around the world. Lately I have had the opportunity to help select artifacts and write up descriptions for some temporary exhibits. This was my first, part of a display on lunar maps and globes.

I was surprised how challenging it was to present the information on these objects via concise captions that were accessible yet accurate and retained the details that made them such interesting pieces. This particular display contained three lunar globes from the Adler’s collection as well as a lunar atlas and telescope. I’ve included captions and images of my favorite objects below.

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This last globe offered a mystery, as a previous owner had affixed unlabeled colored markers at various locations. A bit of homework indicated they corresponded with various lunar landings and helped estimate the globe’s date. If you’re in Chicago, head to the Adler and check them out!

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