Article by Professor Michael Burton, Director of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
July 20 1969 saw, arguably, the most famous event in all of human history when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon and left his footprints there – a mark still indelibly framed in the lunar dust today, some 49 years later. It may seem almost as incredible that it is indeed nearly half a century ago that this epochal event occurred, one that united all of humanity for a short while, as we stared at that yellow orb in our night skies to know that one of our species was walking on it surface.
On the 20th of July 2019 there are sure to be reflections on this momentous event around the globe, to mark 50 years since Man first stepped onto the Moon. As a lead-in towards this anniversary let us reflect on what we knew about the Moon before humans first arrived, what was right and what was wrong.
Image of the Moon captured by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft on a flyby en-route to Jupiter in 1992. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS.
I will turn to no less an authority than Patrick Moore, who was the ...