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Antoniadi's map of Mercury, 1920s

Antoniadi's map of Mercury, 1920s

V700/0339

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Credit

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Map of Mercury, based on observations made in the 1920s by the Greek-born French astronomer Eugene Michel Antoniadi (1870-1944). This was the first attempt to draw a map of the surface of Mercury. The observations were made in 1924, 1927, 1928 and 1929, using the 83-centimetre telescope at the Meudon Observatory, and published as Le Planete Mercury. Antoniadi identified this as the Sunward-pointing surface of Mercury, but this was based on the incorrect assumption at the time that Mercury had one side permanently facing the Sun. This meant that Antoniadi's map was inaccurate.

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