Micro Life Zone
Asked by nicko24 to DJ, Kyler, Mia, Mick, Peter on 26 Aug 2013.
Keywords: analysis, astronomy, moon, spacetravel
We know quite a lot about some stars, where no-one has ever been. Most of what we know has been found out by observing the Moon through telescopes, bouncing radar signals off it, and examining the spectrum of light reflected from it. And a lot of thinking about the results and trying experiments in a laboratory to see whether what we think is likely to be true.
And of course, ever since the time of scientists like Johannes Keppler and Isaac Newton we have understood how gravity keeps it in place and have slowed its rotation so it always keeps the one face towards us.
There have actually been several moon landings, with hours spent on the lunar surface and many samples have been brought back for scientists to study. Astronauts even left reflectors on the moon and lasers can be bounced off them from Earth to calculate the distance, among other things.
@nicko24 I think Peter and David have done a good job answering this one already – there have been six ‘manned’ NASA moon landings so far and lots of others without people (but robots!).
Speaking of the moon and space, do you know about Laika? And the other soviet space dogs? Dogs have been helping scientists learn stuff for aaaaaaaggges – check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_space_dogs
(Spoiler alert: the dogs didn’t have a happy ending – not good animal welfare!)
We’ve had several people walk on the moon and do scientific studies in person, but we can learn a lot just from observing the moon even from the surface of the earth (or in near-earth orbit). For example, scientists with NASA and other organisations are building a telescope that is powerful enough to see the light from a firefly at the distance of the moon! (Not that there are any fireflies there, just that we could see them if there were — our telescopes are that good!)
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2020