lunar image of the month

may: da vinci moon drawing

Leonardo da Vinci is the epitome of the Renaissance man, bringing together supreme talents in both art and science. To him, these were simply different facets of an insatiable curiosity into how the world works. His paintings are filled with detail and realism, while his notebooks contain numerous studies and speculations on natural phenomena, in words, diagrams and sketches.

Although the Moon has appeared in many drawings and paintings throughout history, this sketch from one of da Vinci's notebooks was one of the first to attempt to accurately portray its appearance.

In another of his notebooks, the Codex Leicester, he was the first to recognise that the light which sometimes illuminates the dark portion of a crescent moon is reflected from the Earth.

Image: Rice University Galileo Project.