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By Charlotte Howard on

Drawing the Moon

In our exhibition Hello Universe, we invite visitors to have a go at drawing the Moon, just like Galileo did in the 17th century. Our curatorial team have selected a handful of the best drawings—is yours among them?

Hello Universe is an exhibition all about exploring space through sound and image technologies. We start the show by winding the clock back 409 years, to a time when photography didn’t exist.

Galileo Galilei
Painting of Galileo Galilei © Science Museum Group Collection

Galileo was one of the first people to study the Moon through a telescope. He saw its knobbly surface and worked out that the shadows were made by mountains and craters. Photography hadn’t been invented, so the only way he could record what he saw was by drawing. He published his drawings in a book called Sidereus Nuncius in 1610. We have a first edition of this book on display in Hello Universe and, close by, you can try a Moon drawing activity for yourself.

'Can you draw the Moon' section of Hello Universe

Children taking part in a drawing activity

In the exhibition, we ask you to peer into a model telescope and have a go at drawing the Moon, just like Galileo did all those years ago. We have been blown away by the number of people taking part and the creativity of our visitors!

Our curatorial team have selected a handful of the best drawings—what do you think? Can you do better?

Travel back in time with us and find out if you are as good at drawing as the legendary Galileo. Hello Universe is open at the National Science and Media Museum until 22 January 2020.

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