ABSTRACT

The author offers a short history of how our perceptual relationship with the Moon has changed over time. Examples of lunar imaging by Early Renaissance painter Jan Van Eyck, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, 19th-century photographer James Nasmyth and NASA's Ranger and Lunar Orbiter missions of the 1960s reveal ways in which our perception of the Moon has changed. Images of the Moon produced by technology remain far from “complete”—they are akin to fragments, sketches or models, providing information upon which the imagination can build. How we imagine the Moon, the author argues, is symbiotically linked with our representations of it; we only perceive the truly complete, whole Moon in the non-localized zone of our imaginations.

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