Friday, April 2, 2010

Francesco Maria Grimaldi...Giambattista Riccioli's "Almagestum Novum"--the Moon

Francesco Maria Grimaldi, an Italian Jesuit, was born on this date in 1618.

"In the late 1640s, he produced a large and detailed map of the moon, based on his own observations. His fellow Jesuit and Bolognese, Giambattista Riccioli, then invented a naming system for the various craters and seas, and published the map in his Almagestum Novum of 1651. The map is justly famous, because Riccioli's lunar nomenclature--one of several then available--turned out to be the one we still use. So the Sea of Tranquility first appears on Grimaldi's map, as do the craters Tycho, Plato, and Copernicus."--Bill Ashworth [Linda Hall Library Newsletter].

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