Jun 6, 2019
On this episode, Beth and Astrobiologist Dr. David Warmflash
discuss his new book, Moon: An Illustrated History; From Ancient
Myths to the Colonies of Tomorrow.
Here are some highlights from both the book and the Casual
- This new and different book about the moon includes images on
every left side of the page, and illuminating text on every right
- Moon: An Illustrated History chronologically presents
100 milestones in the Moon’s development and exploration. Starting
4.5 billion years ago when the Moon formed, David walks through
hypotheses of the Moon’s formation to sixth-century BCE predictions
of solar eclipses, from the twentieth-century Space Race between
the US and the Soviet Union to private space companies and possible
future lunar colonies.
- Did you know there were lunar calendars as well as solar
- David shares how lunar brightness was used to estimate stellar
distances; how advancing telescopes in the seventeenth century
allowed us to eye the Moon more closely; how author Jules Verne
inspired the Father of Astronautics; the originals of the Saturn V
Moon Rocket and we bring it all back to the Apollo missions.
- The Moon formed billions of years ago, and humans have been
enthralled with the Moon throughout history.
- The moon has a lot of resources that we can mine- silicon
dioxide and we can genetically engineer opportunities to mine for
water (ice) for all kinds of things- fuel, oxygen, etc.
- Now is the time for the Moon! There’s the 50th anniversary of
the first human landing on the moon, so we are all
- In his book, David highlights how the moon effected humanity
before any technology was applied to the moon.
- The Moon meant a lot of different things to many ancient
people. We take our best guess when we find ancient structures that
help line up the lunar year and solar year. People worshiped the
moon as a goddess. Agricultural societies would use a lunar
calendar to help successfully plant and harvest during the
“Going to the moon will help everyone on Earth. The
new mission to go back to the moon is named Artemins (the sister to
Apollo). We can get energy from the moon and make things [on
Earth] more sustainable.” Dr. David
About David Warmflash:
Dr. David Warmflash is an astrobiologist and prolific science
writer. He was in the first cohort of NASA astrobiology
postdoctoral trainees and served as a member of NASA’s Jupiter Icy
Moons Orbiter Science Definition Team. He has collaborated with The
Planetary Society on three experiments that have flown in space,
including “the peace experiment” that involved an Israeli and a
Palestinian student working with Dr. Warmflash as co-investigators.
He has published in scientific journals and popular science
publications including Wired UK, Scientific American, Discover,
Air and Space, Astronomy Magazine, and others. He contributed
to the book George and the Blue Moon by Lucy Hawking and
Stephen Hawking, and was interviewed for an article in the
Kansas City Star concerning the accuracy of the science in
the sci-fi TV series Orphan Black.