First Astronomical Photograph - Draper's Moon Daguerreotype

Dublin Core

Title

First Astronomical Photograph - Draper's Moon Daguerreotype

Subject

Photography
New York University
Draper, John W.
Astronomy
Daguerreotype
Daguerreotypists

Description

Mirror-reversed Image of the daguerreotype attributed to John W. Draper, believed to have been taken March 26, 1840 from his rooftop observatory at New York University.

In the winter of 1839-1840 Draper captured the first known photograph of the moon, launching the age of astronomical photography. For his first effort, Draper made moon’s rays pass by the reflection of a heliostat through a lens four inches in diameter and fifteen feet in focus. His allotted exposure time of 30 minutes, however, proved too long, resulting in a partially blackened, overexposed plate. Draper succeeded in capturing another image of a seventeen-day-old moon by using two lenses and exposing the plate for 45 minutes, resulting in a more distinct, detailed daguerreotype of the moon’s surface.

Draper’s continuing efforts with astrophotography from his rooftop observatory at NYU’s main building resulted in his announcement of March 23, 1839 to the New York Lyceum of Natural History of his success in capturing a detailed, realistic view of the moon.

Draper returned to his rooftop observatory at NYU to continue his experiments in lunar photography. On March 26, he captured a mirror-reversed image of the last quarter Moon - illustrated above - resulting in a highly detailed lunar daguerreotype. Draper exhibited his moon daguerreotype at the New York Lyceum of Natural History on April 13 to considerable acclaim.

Creator

Draper, John W.

Source

New York University Archives

Publisher

Unknown

Date

1840

Contributor

Ashley Sena-Levine

Rights

For permission to use this image, contact the New York University Archives:

http://www.nyu.edu/library/bobst/research/arch/

Format

JPEG

Type

PhysicalObject

Coverage

1830s
1840s
Washington Square

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Daguerreotype

Files

Click images for original-sized versions.

Citation

Draper, John W., “First Astronomical Photograph - Draper's Moon Daguerreotype,” Greenwich Village History, accessed July 25, 2014, http://gvh.aphdigital.org/items/show/119.

Geolocation

Social Bookmarking

Comments

License

Creative Commons License

Image Viewer

Click below to view an image using the Zoom.it viewer.