One Small Step for Man.

13 Apr

I’ve just taken a telescope into my garden and had a gander at the Moon. It’s pretty awesome, and if you’ve never done it before, it’s beyond recommendable. To see in such minute detail all the little nuances of the lunar surface that make it so fantastically unique with your own eyes is an amazing experience.

I focused on the South Pole, especially the Tycho crater. On the picture it’s about halfway up, on the right of the cluster of impact craters, with the dot in the middle like a hydrogen atom without an electron. Tycho is pretty young for a crater, at about 108 million years old, and named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. In case you didn’t know, he lost his nose in a duel and wore a copper prosthetic one, and supposedly died because he thought it too rude to leave the dinner table to go urinate, and ruptured his bladder. But he still had a large enough impact (sorry for the pun) on the world of astronomy to warrant a crater.

And Tycho is a pretty prominent crater. NASA landed Surveyor 7 there, and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken several pictures of it as the number one proposed site of the cancelled Constellation program, but with the Orion spacecraft going ahead, this crater could feature some footsteps yet. When I begin travelling, a lot is going to change. I’ll be immersed in different cultures, languages, foods and drinks. My entire life is going to become this dynamic, malleable constant conveyor belt of change. And yet there are going to be just as many things that won’t change, and a pretty good symbol of this is about 230,000 miles away and staring at me right now.

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