One small step: What will the moon look like in 50 years?

CNET | 7/22/2019 | Jackson Ryan
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When the first astronomers turned their eyes to the heavens, tens of thousands of years ago, their view was unobscured by the glow of city lights. At night, a pristine black sheet stretched across an unreachable ceiling overhead. The centerpiece of this ancient nightscape was a flat grey disc that hung in the sky: the moon.

Click here for To the Moon, a CNET series examining our relationship with the moon from the first landing of Apollo 11 to future human settlement on its surface.

Moon - Stories - Mysteries - Australia - Indigenous

We used to worship the moon, tell each other stories to explain its mysteries. In Australia, the Indigenous Yolngu people named it "Ngalindi," believing a full moon represented an indolent, pot-bellied man with several wives. As the moon cycled through its phases, the Yolngu believed Ngalindi's wives had taken to his body with their axes, slicing pieces away, leaving only a crescent slither. Similar stories abound in Aztec culture and the myths of ancient Mesopotamia, East Asia, India and Greece.

But on July 20, 1969, we stepped onto a lunar sea and saw the moon's surface, up close, for the very first time. The ground was dead and cratered. Only dusty plains stretched out before us.

Moon - God - Destination - Place - Object

The moon was no longer a god to be worshiped. It was a destination. A place we could visit, an object we could touch.

Over the next three years, 12 humans walked on the surface of the moon, piloting rovers across Rima Hadley and Stone Mountain. They pilfered moon soil, studied rocks, visited impact craters and planted flags. On Dec. 14 1972, NASA astronauts in the Apollo 17 mission climbed back into their lunar spacecraft and departed the moon for Earth. It was the last time humans ever set foot on the moon.


But in 2019, the moon is being probed...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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