Audio description content. These wall displays relate to astronomical observation prior to the invention of the telescope.

Panel text content. The first map of the Moon. About 400 years ago the English doctor and philosopher William Gilbert drew a map of the Moon using only his naked eye. As far as anyone knows it was the first ever ‘map’ of the lunar surface. He sketched and labelled the dark and bright patches. He also invented the term ‘selenography’ to describe the study of the Moon’s surface. This word is still in scientific use today. Gilbert died six years before the invention of the telescope. It took another fifty years before people saw his maps – and by then the telescope and scientific revolution was changing how the Moon was viewed forever.

Image description. A bathmat sized pen and ink map of the moon, in similar style to historical traveller’s maps and charts. The map outlines nine areas of varying sizes, but contains no fine detail.

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