Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 20, 1969


Happy Man on the Moon Day! Yep, it was July 20, 1969 when Apollo 11 homeboys Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out of their shiny little craft, the Eagle, onto the dusty, grey surface of our dear little moon. 

Go here for a five-second recording that makes it official.

It may not sound like much of an achievement now, but think of how this accomplishment changed our world. For all of human history, I would presume that people have gazed up at the moon and fantasized about that heavenly body. Is it made of green cheese? Doesn't it look like it has a face? What if little people live up there?

So forty-three years ago, we sent some guys up there to check it out, and they brought us back the answers. No green cheese; in fact, the moon is made of fine powdery dust and lots of rocks. No, the moon does not have a face, but there are lots of cool craters and such with names like Sea of Tranquility. And no, there are no little moon men up there, but we had a lot of fun jumping around in the low gravity and left a flag behind in case anyone comes along and wonders who left all the footprints.

No more mysteries. Now we know. That's so cool.

In honor of this accomplishment of humankind, I offer two links with images that will rock your socks.

First, good ol' Instagram has a blog post on this topic, and links to many, many beautiful photos of the moon, taken by twenty-first century earth dwellers. Definitely worthy of a perusal.

Secondly, and much more historically official is NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day. Check out the featured image (you might want to dig out some 3D glasses before you load it up). And be sure to investigate the links in the caption below the photo - there are lots of cool images and interesting tidbits to discover.

If you are not in the mood to click around right now, that's fine, but promise me this. Next time you glance up in the night sky, and see our dear little moon, remember for just one moment what a glorious thing it is that we can say we've been there.


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