Title: Galileo, two illustrations of the moon from Sidereus Nuncius (The Sidereal Messenger), Venice, 1610
Original Format: photograph: negative
Description: Two illustrations of features of the moon’s surface, showing strong light and dark shadings on the light side. According to the prevailing Aristotelian cosmology, heavenly bodies were perfectly smooth and spherical. Galileo’s observations of the moon’s roughness tended to support the new Copernican system, which no longer upheld the distinction between terrestrial and heavenly bodies.