iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for The Moon

Listen now 45 mins

Listen in pop-out player

The Moon

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 03 November 2011

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the origins, science and mythology of the moon. Humans have been fascinated by our only known satellite since prehistory. In some cultures the Moon has been worshipped as a deity; in recent centuries there has been lively debate about its origins and physical characteristics. Although other planets in our solar system have moons ours is, relatively speaking, the largest, and is perhaps more accurately described as a 'twin planet'; the past, present and future of the Earth and the Moon are locked together. Only very recently has water been found on the Moon - a discovery which could prove to be invaluable if human colonisation of the Moon were ever to occur.

Mankind first walked on the Moon in 1969, but it is debatable how important this huge political event was in developing our scientific knowledge. The advances of space science, including data from satellites and the moon landings, have given us some startling insights into the history of our own planet, but many intriguing questions remain unanswered.

With:

Paul Murdin
Visiting Professor of Astronomy at Liverpool John Moores University

Carolin Crawford
Gresham Professor of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge

Ian Crawford
Reader in Planetary Science and Astrobiology at Birkbeck College, London.

Producer: Natalia Fernandez.

  • FURTHER READING

    Whitehouse, David, ‘The Moon: A Biography’ (Headline Book Publishing, 2001)

    Stroud, Rick, ‘The Book of the Moon’ (Doubleday, 2009)

    Lang, Kenneth, ‘The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System’ (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

    Smith, Andrew, ‘Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth’ (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2005)

    Montgomery, Scott, ‘The Moon and the Western Imagination’ (University of Arizona Press, 1999)

    Harland, David, ‘Exploring the Moon: The Apollo Expeditions’ (2nd Edition, Springer-Praxis, 2008)

    Cashford, Jules, ‘The Moon: Myth and Image’ (Cassell Illustrated, 2003)

    Chaikin, Andrew, ‘A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts’ (Penguin, 2011)

    Mackenzie, Dana, ‘The Big Splat, or How Our Moon Came to Be: A Violent Natural History’ (John Wiley, 2003)

    Murdin, Paul, ‘Secrets of the Universe: How We Discovered the Cosmos’ (Thames and Hudson, 2010)

    Crawford, Ian, Fagents, Sarah, Joy, Katherine, “Full Moon Exploration” (magazine Astronomy and Geophysics, volume 48, pp.3.18-3.21, (2007)

Broadcasts

Featured in...

In Our Time Downloads

melvyn-bragg.jpg

Every episode of In Our Time - available to download to listen to when & where you want.

Free downloads

  1. Image for In Our Time Archive: Culture

    In Our Time Archive: Culture

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of ideas as it applies to culture - from literature…

  2. Image for In Our Time Archive: History

    In Our Time Archive: History

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the people, conflicts and events that have shaped the world.

  3. Image for In Our Time Archive: Philosophy

    In Our Time Archive: Philosophy

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of philosophy - from ancient Greek thinkers to the…

  4. Image for In Our Time Archive: Religion

    In Our Time Archive: Religion

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of religious ideas - from the faith systems of…

  5. Image for In Our Time Archive: Science

    In Our Time Archive: Science

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of ideas and the evolution of the sciences - from…

  6. Image for In Our Time With Melvyn Bragg

    In Our Time With Melvyn Bragg

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of ideas - including topics drawn from philosophy,…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.