Selene's Two Faces

From 17th Century Drawings to Spacecraft Imaging


If any scientific object has over the course of human history aroused the fascination of both scientists and artists worldwide, it is beyond doubt the moon. The moon is also by far the most interesting celestial body when it comes to reflecting on the dualistic nature of photography as applied to the study of the universe. Against this background, Selene’s Two Faces sets out to look at the scientific purpose, aesthetic expression, and influence of early lunar drawings, maps and photographs, including spacecraft imaging. In its approach, Selene’s Two Faces is intermedial, intercultural and interdisciplinary. It brings together not only various media (photography, maps, engravings, lithographs, globes, texts), and cultures (from Europe, America and Asia), but also theoretical perspectives.

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Carmen Pérez González, Ph.D. (2010), Leiden University, is lecturer-researcher at Bergische Universität Wuppertal (IZWT). She has published a book, Local Portraiture: Through the Lens of the 19th Century Iranian Photographers (Leiden University Press, 2012), an exhibition catalogue, and many articles.
"Setting aside the specific subject of the Moon and its pictures, González’s collection provides an excellent example of how astronomical imaging can overstep the boundaries of traditionally understood history of science."
Jarosław Włodarczyk, Institute for the History of Science of Polish Academy of Sciences, Journal for the History of Astronomy 50(4): 493-495
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: On the Visible, the Invisible, Presences and Absences in Lunar Portraiture
Carmen Pérez González

1 One World is not Enough: Remarks on the History of Selenography
Pedro M.P. Raposo

2 Mapping Time Rather than Mapping Space: The Moon in Persian Astronomy during the Naseri Period (1848-1896)
Carmen Pérez González

3 Japanese Lunar Drawings, Maps and Photographs before the 1870s
Tsuko Nakamura

4 Of Blurs, Maps and Portraits: Photography and the Moon
Charlotte Bigg

5 James Nasmyth on the Moon: Or on Becoming a Lunar Being, without the Lunacy
Omar W. Nasim

6 Karl Friedrich Küstner’s Moon Photographic Plates at Bonn Observatory
Michael Geffert

7 The Digital Sky of Hamburg Observatory: Bringing Astro-photographic Plates from the 20th into the 21st Century
Detlef Groote

8 From Astronomer-photographers to Astronaut-photographers: Close-up Detailed Observations Performed by Spacecraft and Manned Exploration of the Moon
Pedro Ré and Carmen Pérez González

Pedro Ré and Carmen Pérez González

For anyone interested in the history of science, (amateur) astronomers interested in the moon, and interdisciplinary scholars concerned with the production and use of images.
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