ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Spaceship Earth, Meet the Neighbours, "The Man in the Moon"

Updated on September 15, 2019
lawrence01 profile image

The universe is vast and wonderful. It can make us feel so small and insignificant, but it can also make us feel so special that we're here.

Our companion

An object we think we know.
An object we think we know. | Source

Our closest neighbour

Take a few minutes tonight to do something for me, I'm sure you're going to enjoy it, though you might wonder why I'm asking it? That's easy, there are some things we just take for granted, and we shouldn't they're things we often think we know a lot about or enough about, and don't really want to know much more, yet take the time to dig a little and we'd be totally amazed at how little we actually know.

One of those things will be the thing that catches your eye on a clear night, the Moon shining bright, or maybe it is not shining where you are, maybe it is not even showing its face tonight because its a moonless night, one we get every twenty-eight days or so.

Take a moment

I'm not going to tell you what to think, I'll leave that up to you, If you've got friends or family far away, you likely are thinking that the same Moon is looking down on them to, maybe you utter a silent prayer, "Keep 'em safe" not really at the Moon, but at the one who made it, or maybe you sit in wonder and marvel at the beauty we see in the night sky, that choice is yours, all I want for you it to take a moment to wonder.

So near, yet so far

The Moon is the only celestial body in the night sky that isn't named after some 'god' or other, most are named after the Roman gods, but the occasional one crops up from the Greek or even the Viking pantheon, actually just checking and it turns out that the moon in some ways is named after the Roman 'god' Luna who guess what, she was the goddess of the moon!

The name we use most often though is actually from the old English, that word comes from an even older word from the proto-Indo-European word 'Menses' which translates "Month"

It's the one time where an 'Old English' word actually pre-dates the Latin and Greek words we could have used, by the way, the Moon didn't actually officially get the title until 1909 when the International Astronomical Union was given the task of naming the celestial bodies we knew about and standardizing their names. Until then the Moon was known mostly by that name, but also the name 'Luna' (Roman) and Seleste (Greek)

At its nearest point, the Moon is 225,000 miles away, but its orbit isn't totally circular and at the furthest point it's 252,000 miles away. Yep, that's right the orbit is more like an egg shape than that of a circle, but things get a little stranger as we go.


What's so special about it?

I can hear some people saying, "Yeah, so what, we been there, what's so special about the place?"

Well, its the fact we went there, and what we found that makes the place so special. See until a man stepped on the Moon we thought that it was much like Earth, only without an atmosphere, I mean they're so close they have to be made of the same stuff right?

Partly true


As well as taking men to the Moon, part of the mission remit for the Apollo missions was to bring some of the Moon back to us. In total the six missions that landed on the Moon (Apollo 13 didn't land as there was an emergency on the spacecraft that resulted in one of the most spectacular missions in NASA's history) they brought back around 300 kilograms of Moon rock, that's just over a quarter of a ton.

Not just a quarter of a ton from one location, but over 2,000 samples from at least six sites, we got a good idea of what the Moon was made of, and what we found blew us away!

The same, and different!


Parts of the Moon were almost identical to Earth, but there were some parts that we do different they could not have been from Earth, how can you get that, a place almost identical in parts, yet other parts so radically different they have to be extraterrestrial in origin!

Enter the Soviets


The Soviets actually got to the moon first, back in 1962, but they went with an unmanned probe and intentionally crashed it into the Lunar surface, they just wanted to know if they could get there, they did, and they kept sending probes right up to the late 1970s.

Their probes also sent back samples, though not as many, they were from different sites, and their findings were the same as the American ones, but with a slight difference, they added many more sites into the picture, and threw a spanner into the works of the first theory of how we got our Moon!

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

— Genesis chapter 1 verses 1 and 2

16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

— Genesis Chapter 1 verses 16-19

The two theories

The first Theory of how Earth got her Moon (Remember, both Mercury and Venus don't have any, and Mars might have two, but they're just asteroids captured in her orbit, they're only a few hundred yards across, the Moon is over a thousand miles across) is that early in the life of the planets the Earth was hit a 'glancing blow' by a huge passing asteroid that took part of the Earth away, and formed a new satellite, but that didn't explain how everything on the Moon's surface could be so 'mixed up'.

If that one was right then most of the stuff that came from Earth should be all in one or two areas, but it isn't! It's all over the body!

Formed inside the Earth!

Ya gotta be kidding right?

Actually no, that's the present theory, but there's a way of explaining it, let's go back to Genesis, in Chapter one the Earth is created in verse one, but by verse two it's lost it's 'form' and is totally void. Almost as if God was starting over again right (Just a comment, don't read anything into it)

The present theory is that the early Earth didn't take so much a 'glancing blow' as a direct hit, and one so hard it literally vaporised the whole planet but wasn't quite strong enough to break everything free from the gravity the mass created.

The whole Earth was turned into dust, but gradually that dust began to settle and gravity took charge condensing the two, eventually, the smaller body of the two was ejected from the mass that continued to condense and became the Earth, the ejected mass became the Moon that we have.


How the Earth and the Moon formed

Who's been there?

So far five nations have launched missions to the Moon, both the Soviets and the Americans got there fifty years ago. The Americans were there for a few years with six landings of the Apollo missions, but the Soviets were there with unmanned probes for about a decade.

The last few years three other nations attempted missions to the Moon, China successfully landed a rover on the far side of the Moon, but something seems to have gone wrong with both Israel's 'Beereshit' mission (Hebrew for Genesis, or as close as I can transliterate) and India's mission, though the Indians are hoping they can still get their rover working.

China is the first nation to explore the far side of the Moon, that side is constantly facing away from us, so we've never actually seen it, though it does have a 'day' as the Moon orbits the earth every 28 days, the Moon's 'day' is 28 of ours long!

Why is this important?

Okay, so big deal, the Earth and the Moon formed in one big collision, so what? what does it mean for us today?

It's pretty certain that in the next few years Man is going to be heading back out into space, and this time he's heading out to build colonies! he's going out there for two reasons, one because he can and he's an explorer at heart, and two because we are fast running out of resources here on Earth.

I'm not talking about Oil and Coal, stuff we can do without anyway, How about Iron, Chrome, Titanium and the like? All three of these are known to be there on the Moon, not to mention Water and Oxygen. Though the Oxygen is actually trapped in the rocks.

Then there are the materials we don't find a lot of on Earth that having a base on the Moon will make it much easier to get at, materials like Gold, Uranium, and other elements found in Asteroids.

Far, yet near


The Moon is far enough away for us to be able to test out new technologies to their fullest extent, and it will be dangerous, but yet near enough that if things don't go as well as we hope, then we can get the people back before too much damage is done.

Why?

The Moon is roughly one third the size of the Earth, it's one of the biggest 'Moons' in the solar system, and the fact that it has gravity is a huge bonus as we launch out to colonize our solar system.

Man is still working on how to live in low gravity, or 'microgravity' as its called, but living with a third of the Earth's gravity while it might take a bit of getting used to, won't be as hard as living in microgravity. Our Moon is the perfect place for our first steps into the cosmos, a place where we can learn what will be needed as we launch out for the stars.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Denise

      The 'gap' theory says there's a gap between Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 and verse 2 during which the Earth was created but then destroyed and 'recreated'.

      I wasn't so much meaning to refer to that as to the fact that both the Bible and Science tell us that the Moon is younger than the Earth!

      There are a few more amazing things we will look at next time, including some of the reasons why we'll be going back there. Once the reasons are explained they make perfect sense.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      4 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      I've heard that "formless and void" theory before. I'm not sure what I think about that. I just take for granted that our satellite is the perfect size and distance to make our days, seasons, and tides work perfectly. This is all great info. I love studying the solar system.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      4 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      William

      That thought did cross my mind, at the moment though I've got quite a few projects 'on the go' but we'll see where things lead.

      One thing that's brought great comfort to people travelling far from home is that no matter how far they travelled, it's always the same Moon looking down on them and their loved ones.

      Glad you enjoyed your walk.

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      4 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      So it was friend, so it was. The good news is we will be going back there,this time not as a publicity coup, but to stay, to work and to build so that we can explore the Heavens.

      One proposal is for an observatory on the far side of the Moon, capable of peering much further than the Hubble can now.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      5 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I was up early this morning for a walk before the sun came up. The moon was shining brightly, and I had to think about how marvelous it was.

      Are you planning to turn this series into a book, Lawrence? I think it would be a good one.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      5 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      What a great idea!! I might just do something like that, but there are literally hundreds of things.

      Velcro, MRI scanners, Teflon, Heat resistant materials, carbon dioxide extractors and plastics are just a few I thought of sat here writing this comment, then there are engines we've developed and things like solar panels.

      Glad you're enjoying them.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Always a great read, Lawrence. I'm glad I was alive to witness the first landing on the moon...that sort of accomplishment is worth savoring.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      This is great stuff. Please keep it coming.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      5 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      T

      You have a fair point. A lot of people at the time did think it a waste of money and resources.

      The whole Apollo program was a publicity stunt, or thats what tge government thought, NASA had other ideas, thry wanted to 'get out there' and start to explore.

      Half a million American jobs were created (400,000 directly working on the space program, and at keast 100,000 indirectly affected). I'm sure those who had jobs because of it would have a different opinion.

      Reagen did some good things, and his 'Star wars' program had the Russians worried (the Patriot missile was a direct result) but both countries had the means of knocking out each others satellites. What finally broke the Soviet Union was Afghanistan.

      We are just beginning to reap the benefits of the things developed as a result of the Apollo program and what came after, things we might never have thought of if the challenge of getting to the Moon and back hadn't been taken up.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Fantastic. This one is definitely on the reading list for Gabe. The Venus and Mars ones were big hits. Hey could you do something on all the advances - Like Tang ;-) or plastics that came from NASA?

      Do you think that in the next decade Luna will be a tourist destination?

    • tsadjatko profile image

      5 weeks ago from now on

      Interesting information about the moon. I remember as a child how huge a number 225,000 miles seemed when I heard that was how far the moon was from earth.

      Today I’m so used to hearing terabytes and trillions of dollars, billions of years and of light years, 225,000 doesn’t seem like a lot at all!

      Still, knowing how wasteful government programs are I think the money spent on our race to the moon was a huge waste and could have been spent in better ways to advance our society and culture. But then being government spending the money it would have mostly been wasted anyway.

      Going to the moon was based on the fear of Russia beating us into space.

      The money wasted on the race to the moon could have been used to bring Russia to it’s knees right here on earth like Reagan did, but then what Democrat would ever think of doing that?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)