The Da Vinci Notebooks at sacred-texts.com
It has been asserted, that the spots on the moon result from the moon being of varying thinness or density; but if this were so, when there is an eclipse of the moon the solar rays would pierce through the portions which were thin as is alleged 484 . But as we do not see this effect the opinion must be false.
Others say that the surface of the moon is smooth and polished and that, like a mirror, it reflects in itself the image of our earth. This view is also false, inasmuch as the land, where it is not covered with water, presents various aspects and forms. Hence when the moon is in the East it would reflect different spots from those it would show when it is above us or in the West; now the spots on the moon, as they are seen at full moon, never vary in the course of its motion over our hemisphere. A second reason is that an object reflected in a convex body takes up but a small portion of that body, as is proved in perspective 485 . The third reason is that when the moon is full, it only faces half the hemisphere of the
illuminated earth, on which only the ocean and other waters reflect bright light, while the land makes spots on that brightness; thus half of our earth would be seen girt round with the brightness of the sea lighted up by the sun, and in the moon this reflection would be the smallest part of that moon. Fourthly, a radiant body cannot be reflected from another equally radiant; therefore the sea, since it borrows its brightness from the sun,--as the moon does--, could not cause the earth to be reflected in it, nor indeed could the body of the sun be seen reflected in it, nor indeed any star opposite to it.
166:484 3-5: Eclissi. This word, as it seems to me, here means eclipses of the sun; and the sense of the passage, as I understand it, is that by the foregoing hypothesis the moon, when it comes between the sun and the earth must appear as if pierced,--we may say like a sieve.
166:485 18: come e provato. This alludes to the accompanying diagram.