I know my sis Brindha recently wrote a post about the moon. However, I would like to emphasise on how beautiful it really is in this post.
I always expected the moon to be white with holes in it. And yes,I did imagine it to be beautiful. I set the bar really high cause I knew that anything from outer space would be gorgeous. So when I finally got more my eyes on a close-up of the moon through our telescope, ohh it touched that high bar alright. It was something I could imagine but never thought would be a reality, but it was real!
The moon was so white, pure and untouched. It looked like a ball of ice when I stared at it longer. AMAZING!
And it was so round! It was like a perfect circle floating in mid air. Like a painted white circle (a perfect circle – something I could never draw) shaded with grey against a piece of black paper.
How gorgeous everything is in outer-space!
The moon really is a stunner!
Something interesting that I thought I’ll post up. William Herschel believed that life exists on the moon! And he made this deduction by observing the moon through his homemade 7 foot long reflector telescope – the longest reflector made at his time.
1. Among one of Herschel’s early papers submitted to the Royal Society is “Observation on the Mountains of the Moon”. This paper describes “lunar forests” existing on the moon.
2. Herschel proposed the idea that the craters on the moon were artificially built by lunar inhabitants. This circular craters functioned as towns that could harness solar energy. He called them “circuses”.
3. Herschel believed that the shadows on the moon could be either “forests” of vegetation or “black soil”.
These pictures were taken from a book, The Age of Wonders by Richard Holmes, that I recently bought and am still reading. It’s a wonderful biography of a selected scientist and explorers who lived during the Romantic Age.
Back to Herschel, I truly admire him for having the guts to stand up for what he believed in, despite having to go against Maskelyne’s (Maskelyne, who was leading astronomer at the Royal Society) opinion. At that time, it was such a heated controversy between them that Maskelyne himself visited Herschel in Herschel’s home to question him on the credibility of his astronomical works. However, Herschel never gave up! And mind you, Herschel had no professional qualification in astronomy (or even physics/mathematics for that matter) – a perfect reason to drop his endeavours in a field in which he had little expertise and credibility in. Herschel was in fact a poor man, an émigré from Germany and self-taught in astronomy.
So, instead of succumbing to the doubts of others about his theories, Herschel admitted that his claim of life on the moon needed to be substantiated with more proof. He therefore persevered and kept observing the moon and skies through his telescope. And guess what he stumbled upon eventually while searching and mapping the stars, Uranus!
ps. Check out this post, Sir William Herschel’s Belief in Extraterrestrial Life, to read more about Herschel’s endeavours to discover life in space.
Mid last year, a Malaysian science university, University Sains Malaya held a star party! So, my family and I took a long drive up to to Penang (which was where the star party was held), a state in the northern Malaysian Peninsular, to catch the party. Here’s a picture of the moon taken with a Samsung NX100 camera pointed to an eyepiece of a 8″ Celestron cassegrain telescope.
Not the sharpest picture I must say! But, this was the first time that we got to see crater’s on the moon! As we’ve never looked through a telescope before, the moon was always a white (sometimes shady) circle up in the dark sky. So, seeing the moon up this close was so exciting! I loved looking at the moon with the black background behind it- it made me think that the of the moon as a lonely rock floating in the darkness!
Despite the blur in this photo, we can clearly distinguish Mare Serenitatis, the “Sea of Serenity”, the crater shaped like a mushroom, in it. Yeah!
Here’s a clearer picture of it:
Alright then, that’s my first experience viewing the moon through a telescope! It was an awesome feeling to see something so far away, something that most of us will never travel too, so close.