Lunar Pareidolia: Profile of Woman’s Face

August 22, 2022

Photographer: Emanuele Nifosi

Summary Author: Emanuele Nifosi

Emanuele_Screenshot_20220512_074746 (002)Around the eighteenth century, the astronomer Gian Domenico Cassini first noticed light reflecting off the Moon's landscape along the edge of Golfo delle Iridi resembled the profile of a woman with long hair. This lunar feature specifically appeared in close relation to the Promontorium Heraclides and coincided with the Moon's 10th and 11th day of its synodic orbit. Later, Giovanni Cassini also engraved a female figure in a lunar map he published in 1679, according to some scholars identifiable with his wife Genevieve Laistre.

Shown above, surrounded by a pronounced radial pattern, the Copernicus crater is visible resembling a human profile. As a note, the photo of the Moon is upside down as viewed through the reflector telescope - as it would also have been seen by Gian Domenico Cassini. Click here to see a video of the Moon changing illumination angles.

Photo Details: Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope 6 inch diameter telescope, Hyperion Morpheus 9mm, mounted smartphone, ISO 1.250, f/1.9 exp 1/130

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