Humans have been creating maps of just about anything and everything since we learned how to draw, and some of our earliest were maps of the sky. It wasn’t until the 17th century that we started to map out the surface of the moon using telescopic technology that allowed us to see the ridges and craters in greater detail; Galileo is said to have drawn one of the earliest maps of the moon, noting that the surface was not flat for what might have been the first time.
Maps of the moon finally became more mainstream during the 19th century after the introduction of mass printing methods, with some stunningly ornate prints appearing around Europe. But these were all of the ‘bright side of the moon’, the side that was visible to us here on Earth. The introduction of space and satellite technologies only made it possible to map the ‘dark side of the moon’ during the 20th century.
What most people don’t know is that each crater and mountain that we’ve mapped honors a different person who’s made a significant mark on humanity, from ancient philosophers, astronomers, and scientists, to relatively modern musicians, rulers, and explorers. It should come as no surprise that among these are the names of Middle Eastern and Islamic figures, including iconic figures like Ibn Sina and Ibn Battuta.
Scroll through the gallery to find out who made it to the moon.