| About the Moon |
are all so familiar with the appearance of the Moon up there in the sky
that we usually forget just what it is - a completely separate world,
orbiting Earth, out there in space. For thousands of years people
stared up at its unchanging face, going through its phases, growing
from crescent to full Moon and then shrinking again till about a month
later it was back to a crescent in the evening sky again.
400 years ago, everything changed. A man in Isleworth near London gazed
at it through the newly invented telescope, and made the very first
sketch of the Moon. That man was Thomas Harriot, and 2009 marks the
anniversary of his historic observation.
men have visited the Moon and there are plans to return there. We know
that the Moon is our natural satellite, an airless world of craters and
mountains. It orbits the Earth every month or so, and the
changing illumination gives rise to the phases.
pages we hope you will find virtually everything you need to know about
the Moon, from observing it using nothing more than your eye or
binoculars, to details of the Apollo missions that gripped the world
back in the 1970s. And there are answers to some of those knotty
questions – why does the Moon look larger when it’s
to the horizon? When is the Moon actually blue? Do people really go mad
by looking at the full Moon? Use the chapter headings at left to find
main topics of interest, and those on the right for more details within
view of the lunar surface from Apollo 15