December 11, 2008

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34 Years Ago Today

image by George Tarsoudis

The last humans landed on the Moon a generation ago, 34 years before today. That was before 3.4 billion of the world's present 6.7 billion people were born. In some ways it is just as ancient history to them as the American Civil War, the discovery of the western hemisphere by Europeans, and maybe even the lives of Jesus, Buddha and Confucius. The crew patch itself pictures the mythical Greek god Apollo. Perhaps it is not surprising that so many young people are unsure if humans really went to the Moon. But we did - the rocks prove it to anyone bothering to learn how different they are from anything on Earth. The hundreds of thousands of people involved in the Apollo program could not have been fooled and would not have kept quiet if it had been faked. And it is an insult to the astronauts to suggest dishonestly on a scale usually reserved for politicians. In the decade before Apollo 11 there was growing excitement about space travel and going to the Moon. We are in an analogous period now - I hope we can rekindle that enthusiasm and success.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
10 inch at f/6.3, DMK 21AF04, barlow 3X, red filter, days/times on image.

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