ClockEndGooner writes "The BBC has posted an interesting piece on a British contemporary of Galileo who observed the surface of the moon and drew up a more complete set of lunar maps before the much celebrated Florentine. The first lunar cartographer, Thomas Harriot, who also made an early visit to the Jamestown colony in Virginia, observed the moon with an early telescope and mapped his observations five months before Galileo. Noted British astronomer, Sir Patrick Moore, is quoted in the article: 'I'm sorry Harriot isn't better known over here... after all, we all know Galileo. But Harriot was first... and his map of the Moon is better than Galileo's.' Harriot's achievement may not have been as well known, since he deliberately kept a low profile as two of his friends were imprisoned in the Tower of London for political crimes."