Learn about the Moon in a great new book

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Monday, April 22, 2019

David Warmflash's book, Moon: An Illustrated History, traces our satellite's past in 100 steps. // David Warmflash
It's always nice to hear about a great new book. I just received this review from Matthew Russell of the British Interplanetary Society. He was able to read a pre-publication copy of the text, and here's what he had to say about it.

The Moon has been Earth’s continual celestial partner, and all humankind has gazed in wonder at her since the dawn of our species. Some of our greatest hopes, dreams, and darkest thoughts have revolved around this silver sphere that dominates our night sky. In his first book, Moon: An Illustrated History, NASA trained astrobiologist and prolific science writer David Warmflash sets out to document 100 key moments in the Moon’s history and its influence on mankind. Each of his chosen moments has a two-page spread dedicated to it: an image on one side and the story on the other.

The book can be read in any order and dipped in and out of when the fancy takes you, but the book’s real strength is the broadness of its appeal. Some chapters are science-based, some historical, and others spiritual or religious in nature. However, they are all stitched together in order of a cosmic timeline and in Warmflash’s uniquely readable style.

The origin of the Moon is still not fully understood, and it is with this mystery story that the author begins our journey. We move through the aeons, through the story of the Moon's role in the kick-starting of life on Earth, the forces that have shaped the face of the Moon, and the ancient titans of astronomy like Eratosthenes. Whenever I read the word, Eratosthenes, I hear the voice of Carl Sagan, and Sagan’s influence is very much on display in this book dealing with the science of our Earth-Moon system in an accessible way.

Of course, eventually the book rockets into the 20th century and the Space Race. Like a Netflix series, I had binged my way through the book, and I now had a fresh perspective of just how monumental Armstrong’s step, 50 years ago, onto the lunar surface was. Thankfully we also get to read about the science of the Apollo mission, a subject often overlooked. The book finishes on another hot topic for 2019, humans return to the Moon’s surface.

I loved this book as a really interesting twist on a guide to our huge permanent natural satellite. It never gets bogged down in the technical and is chock full of interesting characters and anecdotes. It’s the perfect book to dip into before staring up at our tireless companion.

You can pre-order Moon: An Illustrated History here on Amazon.


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