The flight that put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the Moon was not without drama, tension and excitement. This month celebrates the 40th anniversary of this fantastic achievement, and we’re here to tell the astronauts’ story. Humans couldn’t step foot on the grey lunar surface without a vehicle to get them there, and the Saturn V rocket is still the biggest ever built. We take a look at the history of the mission’s design and how things could have been very different.
This year also celebrates 400 years since the first astronomical observations of the Moon were made using a telescope, not by Galileo as many of you may have been led to believe, but by Englishman Thomas Harriot. In the first of two articles, Geoff Burt presents a recreation of Harriot’s historic Moon map, followed by tale of how Harriot and his contemporaries revolutionised astronomy, by Ian McClurg-Welland.
In other features, Emily Baldwin explores inside the hearts of dead stars, the debris around young suns, and meteorites that have fallen to Earth to find a girl’s best friend – diamonds; Nick Howes visits the hallowed halls of Burlington House as the Royal Astronomical Society approaches its 190th year; and Darren Baskill picks some of the highlights of the last ten years of discovery in X-rays.
All that plus our usual news, reviews and society news, plus Jeremy Perez’s Drawn to the Universe and Carole Stott’s Starting from Scratch series, and your complete guide to the Night Sky for the month ahead. Plus this month, a free Apollo 11 poster!