Pairing the camera with the telescope, John Adams Whipple became a pioneer of astronomical and night photography. Between 1847 and 1852, he and Harvard astronomer William Cranch Bond used the university’s Great Refractor Telescope—the world’s largest at the time—to produce award-winning photographs of the moon that are remarkable for their close perspective, clarity of detail, and sheer beauty. To make this print, Whipple used an image of the moon first captured by the daguerreotype process, which he then copied with a glass negative. Faced with the technological limitations of negatives, which required a higher level of light to record images, other photographers working in and after Whipple’s time photographed models of the moon based on drawings of telescopic images.
Additional text from Seeing Through Photographs online course, Coursera, 2016