In the movie The Thing, the reporter admonishes the world, "Look to the skies!" to watch for alien spacecraft. In 1610, Galileo did just that, but he wasn't looking for invaders from Mars. He looked to the stars and discovered four of Jupiter's moons. Today, Man may not have conquered the stars but those steps taken by Galileo, Copernicus, Huygens, and Cassini have enable him to take that "one small step."

July is the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It is also the International Year of Astronomy.

To celebrate this, NASA has organized science events this month to help the people of Earth connect with the vast glories of the universe. You may not discover a new planet or even an asteroid, but looking to the stars can help you discover the universe, out place in the heavens, and--perhaps, even something of your own destiny.

Two of the website to visit to begin your adventure:

http://wechoosethemoon.org/
http://astronomy2009.nasa.gov/

The moon website will take you on the adventure of Apollo 11, from just before blast-off to the Eagle landing. You can hear actual recordings, view photos and facts, plot the course of the spaceship, view a timeline of other events taking place that month, and--if you sit through the entire sequence, which takes about 90 minutes--print yourself a certificate verifying that you, too, have been to the moon.

I slept through the actual moon landing, didn't get to hear those historical words but I've listened to them many times since and to see them in their actual context is thrilling. To think about those three men out there in the airless, dangerous blackness of space in something not much larger than an automobile, a vehicle covered with thin sheets much similar to aluminum foil is frightening. Truly, they were brave and truly they went on an adventure not many will ever experience.

This is one way we earthbound can share in that an adventure, and no one should miss it.

9 comments

  1. Nightingale // July 28, 2009 at 1:15 PM  

    Thanks for the web sites. I'll take a look tonight. And thanks for reminding us of the monumentous event.

  2. Mary Marvella // July 28, 2009 at 6:14 PM  

    I was in graduate school and so was my husband (my ex.) I was married to an engineer and I didn't really believe it, even as I watched it.

  3. Mary Ricksen // July 28, 2009 at 8:40 PM  

    Every time the shuttle takes off we watch it. At night it's has such a long bright tail! Beautiful.
    During the day it's a silver speck with a long white tail. Also beautiful! One of the few things I enjoy about living here.

  4. Scarlet Pumpernickel // July 28, 2009 at 11:04 PM  

    I usually have a hard time remembering dates. Even have to count up to be sure I've got the right year for the JFK assassination, but I remember the moon walk year without fail. July 69 my baby had just turned one and my mother died less than six months later. She was excited to see the moon walk. December 69, the day after Pearl Harbor Day she passed away. Whenever I think of the moon walk, I think of her and how proud she was of our country!

  5. Pamela Varnado // July 29, 2009 at 12:03 PM  

    I was too young to understand how momumentous this event was, but I remember my parents talking about it. The excitment and awe in their voices will remain with me always.

  6. Beth Trissel // July 29, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

    Very interesting and I've always been a fan of space stuff.

  7. Joanne // July 29, 2009 at 5:34 PM  

    I've always loved anything to do with the stars. Thanks for the information.

  8. Judy // July 30, 2009 at 10:20 AM  

    Great blog, Toni. Having recently moved to the Space Coast area, I can tell you that it's very exciting! Watching the various "ships" take off and land brings tears to your eyes! Thanks!

  9. Jianne Carlo // July 30, 2009 at 1:51 PM  

    I wanted to be an astronaut from the time I could remember. I bawled the day the trio landed on the moon.


    When I was nine and living in Trinidad, I wrote NASA and asked them to send me a list of the requirements to become an astronaut. The first thing on the list was US citizenship.

    I was inconsolable for months.

    Great post.

    JC