The Earth’s Moon

The Earth’s Moon
National Geographic, Vol.135, No. 2
February 1969

Hi everyone,

Hope everyone had a nice, relaxing long weekend. Since this coming Saturday, September 10th, is the Mid-autumn Festival, I thought we could take a look at this interesting lunar map together. 🙂

Like most National Geographic supplemental maps, “The Earth’s Moon” is also an educational map. Rich in illustrations, it contains various information such as the moon’s orbital paths, phases, tides, eclipses, moon companions, etc. The map also puts the size of its disk in comparison to the size of US, which pretty straightforwardly helps the readers to have a sense of the scale. 

The illustration of the moon’s physical features is strikingly detailed, given that it was made in 1969. According to a more recent National Geographic article that celebrates the 50 anniversary of the lunar visit, this 1969 map was made based upon photos from 1966 and 1967 orbiter missions. While it is for sure we now have more accurately surveyed maps of the moon, “The Earth’s Moon”  is still a pretty cool map that bears special historical significance: the making of this map is probably related to the Apollo program. The bottom of the map, in particular, illustrates the planned flight paths of the Apollo Mission. Interestingly, it is also exactly later in that year that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first landed on the moon. 

Have a nice week!