A visual history of the moon, from Galileo to Armstrong

CNN  — 

In 1610, Galileo published a series of detailed drawings of the moon in his ground-breaking treatise “Sidereus Nuncius.” The astronomer’s depiction of a rough, cratered surface – which he had observed through a homemade telescope – is quite unlike other illustrations from the time.

As such, his images were considered hugely controversial. They broke with centuries of orthodoxy, challenging the Catholic church’s vision of the moon as a flawless celestial body.

And the drawings didn’t just fuel an astronomical revolution. They marked the beginning of a visual history that blends art, technology and the human imagination, according to Mia Fineman, curator of a new Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition exploring our attempts to picture the moon.