Although there were a plethora of media such as books, movies and, TV shows that were created for 50th anniversary of the NASA moon landing, nobody provides a better overall story that Dr. David Warmflash in his new book Moon: An Illustrated History: From Ancient Myths to the Colonies of Tomorrow. What makes the book a great starting point is that although there are a plethora of stories about the numerous workers and facts about the Apollo program, this book is unique as it places the Apollo Program in the greater context of human civilization. By providing 100 unique stories in 1 page stories and providing excellent accompanying photos and diagrams, these stories and descriptions paint a picture of how the moon has inspired famous scientists and societies since the beginning of time. Dr. Warmflash does a great job of providing cross-references at the end of each chapter to allow readers to follow interesting moments in any order that the reader desired.
Dr. Warmflash does this by starting the journey of human-lunar interaction with events relating to the formation of the moon 4.5 Billion years ago before moving to 100 “moments” in the history of the Moon. These early geologic lunar events are then followed by the influence of the moon on ancient civilizations, how the moon affected scientists and thinkers in the Middle Ages, before moving to the European Renaissance and early modern times. The last moments highlighted by the Space Race and future opportunities for human interaction with the moon.
As study of the moon shifted from mythological to timekeeping to scientific, Dr. Warmflash provides how this shift reflects the evolution of human civilizations. As ancient society was very interested in celestial events and their “meanings” to terrestrial events, the book highlights this as can be seen by ancient societies using solar eclipses to interpret the outcome of upcoming battles. Moreover, as society and civilizations advanced, scientists began to learn more about the physical world around us in a scientific manner, the understanding of the moon evolved as well. This is reflected in the shift of the understanding of the moon from a mythological force to an instrument of time, which can be seen by the early calendars of Paleolithic societies, such as the pits found in Aberdeenshire, Scotland from about 10,000 years ago. Dr. Warmflash does an amazing job of showing that a number of societies did adopt a lunar based calendar, several of which are still in use.
Dr. Warmflash then shows how the greek scientists used the moon to help explain scientific quandaries such as the size of the moon, the size of the earth, and eclipses. Moving to the Middle Ages, as civilizations became more interconnected, scientists from the Middle East and Eastern societies began to converse with western scientists to revolutionize the study of the moon and its understanding. Finishing the book with a review of the Space Race, the book spends the last sections talking about the stories and imagery that we all fondly remember.
The moon has inspired generations of thinkers all over the world throughout history, as those curious people have seen the moon have asked questions that have led to new scientific discoveries. Moon: An Illustrated History provides a shared history of lunar discovery and innovation and does an amazing job of going into depth to describe the topic, but not too much detail that goes over ones head. As these moments move throughout time, Dr. Warmflash provides an excellent overview off the moment by tying in scientific knowledge and current events of the time that everyone can easily relate to, understand, and have heard of in some fashion before.
Moon: An Illustrated History makes an awesome gift for those lunar enthusiasts, curious scientists, and space aficionados in your life. This book provides unparalleled relationship between the moon and humanity in a way that everyone can understand. This book is a definite recommend as it weaves the story of us with the knowledge and study of the moon. By purchasing a copy of the book, you are helping support the space community of the Pacific Northwest as Dr. Warmflash resides here. The book is available at most major retailers including Amazon, Barnes And Noble, and some smaller bookstores.