October 16, 2009

The Moon — Exploring our nearest neighbour

Dr Robert Massey
Report by: Mike Dryland

Dr Robert Massey

Robert Massey kicked-off the Flamsteed’s 10th birthday evening with an excellent presentation covering the full story of how we have got to know the Moon (so far).

Robert was formerly Public Astronomer at the ROG and is now with the Royal Astronomical Society.  He was a founder of the Flamsteed and gave one of the first talks in 1999.

Robert’s talk presented a pretty thorough survey of the Moon from an astronomical perspective.  He covered the history of studying the Moon from antiquity to modern times, new knowledge that came with the space age, especially the Apollo program, and something of the future prospects for lunar exploration.

There were many fascinating aspects of the Moon included in the talk, certainly too many to report here.  After the talk was over members agreed that the most interesting topics had been early mapping — Gilbert’s pre-telescopic map, and Galileo’s sketches; the pictures of the far side with its different topography; and the image of the Earth-Moon system to scale — so near and yet so far!

A splendid and fitting kick-off to the Flamsteed’s 10th birthday celebration.

Read More at —

The Moon (Wikipedia)

Mapping the Moon (Wikipedia)

Exploration of the Moon

Google Moon

NASA lunar & planetary science

SEDS Moon page

Galileo project

NMM Moon Facts

The Far side of the Moon

Gilbert’s pre-telescopic map of the Moon c. 1603

Hevelius’ Map of the Moon 1647

Galileo’s sketches of the Moon

Posted under: Flamsteed, Flamsteed Lecture, Meeting Report