Museum of the Moon audio stories

Hear a collection of stories about the Moon from Museums Victoria staff, a member of the Australian Skeptics, and NASA.


  • The Thread - Dr Tanya Hill
  • Nerran the Moon - Jordan Edwards
  • Quiet Night Thought - Kimi Poon
  • Tsuki no Usagi - Yaeko Takei
  • Dar Al Ghani 400 - Oskar Lindenmayer
  • Yuri - Kimberley Moulton
  • Skepticism and Moon Landings – Steve Roberts, Australian Skeptics
  • NASA recordings
  • Chinese Lunar Calendar and New Year – Katrina Lin


Lift Off – Apollo 11

T minus, ten, nine, eight, we have a go for main engine start, we have main engine start, four, three, two, one, zero, lift-off!

Here men from the planet Earth, first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 AD.  We came in peace for all mankind …

Theory of How the Moon Formed - Dr Tanya Hill

Think of all the rocky planets that are in our solar systems so the terrestrial planets, and that’s Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.  None of them have a moon like we have a big round moon in the sky.  In fact Mercury and Venus don’t have moons at all, and if we think about Mars, it does have two moons but they’re really tiny, and in fact they’re more like asteroids, they’re just these lumpy, chunky pieces of rock, whereas Earth is the only terrestrial planet to have a nice big round moon.  And so it really is a question – why are we special?  Why did we end up having a moon and none of the other terrestrial planets did?  And the idea that most scientists… they’re still trying to work out the details of it… but the main idea is that we think what happened is, some time in the Earth’s past, in fact, when the Earth was just forming, there was a violent collision and that ended up forming the Moon. 

And so I’ve got to take you back in time, and we’re going to go right back five million years ago and the Sun has just formed, it’s just been born, and surrounding the Sun is a whole lot of debris, chunks of dust, rock, bits of gas, and slowly all those pieces are coming together to form the planets of the solar system.

Now what we think happened is that as Earth was forming, our little baby Earth, that somewhere nearby, alongside it, another planet was forming as well, we call it Theia, and it ended up growing to be about half the size of what Earth is.  What ended up was that Earth and Theia were on a collision course, and the two planets collided, and Theia was destroyed and all its rock, and some of the rock of Earth, was sent out to begin orbiting the Earth, and in fact it would have looked absolutely amazing.  We would have been like a little mini Saturn, Saturn’s the planet with the rings.  So in those early days, when Earth was forming, after this collision, Earth would have had this ring of debris around it, which would have looked quite spectacular.  And then eventually, well in fact, quite quickly in astronomical terms, we think it took only about a hundred years or so, all of that rock that was in orbit around the Earth slowly came together and ended up forming the Moon, and that’s why we have the Moon in the sky today.

Nerran the Moon - Jordan Edwards

My name is Jordan and I’m a proud Gunditjmara and a Wathaurong boy.  Gunditjmara is down in the Western District in Victoria, down Warrnambool, that’s my father’s country.  Wathaurong is down at Geelong and that’s where my father is also from, and my mother, she’s from Arrernte country which is in Alice Springs.  I’m connected to about twelve different countries, all across Australia.  You know, really proud of that but really awesome to have those connections all over, so you can gain those stories and knowledge from different areas and link it back into you and you get to find yourself.

You hear about the Moon, talk about the Moon.  In the Western District we’ve got a couple of stories of the Moon, for instance, the Moon is actually masculine, it’s male, and the Sun is actually a female, feminine.  So, how they got that relationship, once again we’re still not too sure.  That story’s been around since creation, you know a really powerful and important story that we have. The Moon in my language is Yahere, is the Moon itself and that’s the language of the Keerang Peek Woorrong language.  Taku Taru and that’s is the young Moon, yeah, and that’s when you see a new moon is about to come up.  Yeah, that’s the name, so, these names in this language is actually older than Latin.  They’ve been around for thousands and thousands of years.  Bright Moon means fine weather, so when you see it in the sky, it is quite bright and you know that there’s going to be fine weather for the next day or two.  Old Moon in the arms of the New Moon, means there’s going to be rain, so what that means when you’re seeing an old moon, pretty much you can see the outline of the Moon, and the new one, that’s when you know there’s going to be a couple of days of rain.  So that’s another important story of trying to read the sky and using that astronomy here is Australia and here in Victoria.

But I’ve got a story here from the Gunai Kurnai – I’m not Gunai Kurnai.  I got permission from a couple of elders from Gunai Kurnai. 

Nerran was a mighty warrior and a fearless hunter.  One day, he could not find any game.  Nerran saw an emu on the other side of the wide creek but the water was too deep and he couldn’t cross it.  Nerran looked further up the stream and spotted a log lying across it.  Nerran jumped onto the log to cross the creek.  Brewin a dark spirit was lurking nearby.  Brewin turned the log, and Nerran fell in and drowned into the deep water.  Nerran went off to the sky and is now the Southern Cross.  The Moon still stalks through the sky but cannot catch the emu.

So what this story is telling us as a people and our own kids and even adults, is that you’ve got to be wary when you’re crossing them creeks.  You don’t know what’s inside.  You don’t know what could happen, so you just have to be wary of that.  Also, you know, it’s teaching people how to read the sky.  With the emu in that dark space of the Milky Way, you can actually see that outline of the emu and this story actually tells you when you can and can’t go hunting for that emu, so you can actually see if that emu is sitting down or standing up, in certain parts of the year when you can and can’t eat this emu.

One Side of the Moon  - Dr Tanya Hill

Scientists say that the Moon is gravitationally locked to Earth.  Now, what that means is just that one side of the Moon is always facing Earth.  The other side we never get to see because it faces away.  And the reason this has happened is because Earth’s gravity has slowed the Moon down, locking it to the Earth, and what’s happened is that the Moon’s orbit and its spin has become aligned.  They’re equally matched.  So to give you some numbers, what’s going on is that it takes the Moon twenty-eight days to orbit the Earth.  But it also takes the Moon twenty-eight days to spin once on its axis, so in that time the Moon spins exactly once on its axis, so it’s gravitationally locked and we only ever see one side of the Moon.

Crater - Apollo 15

Steve and Jim, what was the bearing on that chain of craters you just described?

The bearing … was just a very subtle little half … the craters are the size of a four metre crater that showed up very well the shadow.


It was just a 348 for 4.3 where we are right now.

Tsuki no Usagi - Yaeko Takei


In Japan we imagine that the shadows of the Moon are shaped like a rabbit pounding boiled rice into rice cake.  We are taught by our parents or teachers about the story, a rabbit in the Moon, since we were children.


The story goes like this.  The Old Man of the Moon came down to Earth one day to test the kindness of three animal friends, a monkey, a rabbit and a fox.  Transformed as a beggar, the Old Man of the Moon wanted to know who was the kindest of the three.  He approached the friends, who were sitting around a fire and asked if they had any food to spare.  The monkey gathered an abundance of fruit for the beggar.  The fox brought the man a fish.  But the rabbit did not have anything to give, and offered to give himself as a sacrifice to the man by throwing himself into the fire and allowing the beggar to eat him.  Before the rabbit could do so, the Old Man of the Moon transformed back into his original form.  He said that the rabbit was a very kind soul and took the rabbit to live with him on the Moon.

This story passed down through generations, contributes to the old time Japanese belief that rabbits came from the Moon.


Tsukimi means Moon Viewing in Japanese and has been celebrated every September since the Heian Period 1794 to 1185.  According to the lunar calendar the Moon is most beautiful around the 15th of September when it’s at its fullest and nearest to the Autumnal Equinox.  Therefore this Moon is also called the Harvest Moon.  In 2018 Tsukimi was celebrated on the 24th of September.


Nowadays, Japanese people celebrate Tsukimi with their families, watching the Moon and enjoying Mochi or Tsukimi dango.  There are more than ten kinds of Mochi, so the ones being eaten for Tsukimi have to be special too.

Surface of the Moon ­– Apollo 8

The Moon is a different thing to each one of us. I think that each one carries his own impressions of what he’s seen today.  I know my own impressions is that it is a vast, lonely, forbidding type of existence or experience of nothing.  It looks really like clouds and clouds of pumice stone and it certainly would not appear to be a very inviting place to live or work.  Jim, what have you thought most about?

Well, Frank, my thoughts were very similar.  The vast loneliness up here on the Moon is awe-inspiring.  It makes you realise just what you have back there on Earth.

Phases of the Moon – Dr Tanya Hill

When you look up at the Moon here at our exhibition, you can see that the Moon is fully lit up all the way round.  You make out the dark lunar seas on one side of the Moon and then you can see all the craters, particularly on the other side of the Moon, right around the Moon’s surface.  The thing is, though, the reality, out in space, the Moon can never look like this and that’s because the Moon doesn’t make its own light, just like the Earth.  Instead, it’s lit up by the Sun.  And so out in space, at any time, one half of the Moon is lit up by the Sun, but it’s the side of the Moon that would be in daytime, so the other side of the Moon would be in night, and we wouldn’t be able to see anything because it would be nice and dark.  And it’s that change, that idea that there’s always part of the Moon in daylight, in sunshine, and part of the Moon in night.  It’s that change between day and night, between bright and dark, that creates the phases of the Moon, the phases of the Moon that we see here on Earth.  And so when you look up in the sky, and you can see the Moon, how much of it is lit and how much of it is dark just depends on where the Moon is, in its orbit around the Earth.

When we look up and we see a big bright full Moon, what that means is that the day side of the Moon is shining down on Earth.  We’re only seeing the part of the Moon that’s in day.  Probably my favourite time to see the Moon is when the Moon is a really thin crescent and what’s going on there is that in fact most of the Moon, the part of the Moon that we can see, is in night, and there’s just that tiny sliver, the crescent, where the Sun is still hitting the Moon and that little part of the Moon is in day, but most of it’s in night.  And if you watch the crescent Moon in the sky, night after night, you’ll see that slowly, we end up seeing more of the day, going across the Moon and so the Moon slowly gets brighter and brighter, until it becomes a full Moon and then, as I said before, we’re just seeing the day side of the Moon, and then after a full Moon, if you keep watching the Moon, you’ll see that slowly night begins to come to the Moon, and more and more of the Moon is in darkness and we see less of it in daytime.  And so light and dark, day and night, on the Moon, that’s what creates the phases, but I think it definitely makes the Moon one of the most fascinating and special objects to see in the sky.

Capturing the image: Earthrise – Apollo 8

Anders: Oh my God, look at that picture over there! There's the Earth comin' up. Wow, is that pretty!

Borman: Hey don't take that, it's not scheduled.

[shutter click]

Anders: You got a color film, Jim? Hand me a roll of color, quick, would you?

Lovell: Oh man, that's great.

Anders: Hurry.

Lovell: Where is it?

Anders: Quick

Lovell: Down here?

Anders: Just grab me a color. A color exterior. Hurry up. Got one?

Lovell: Yeah, I'm looking' for one. C 368.

Anders: Anything. Quick.

Lovell: Here.

Anders: Well, I think we missed it.

Lovell: Hey, I got it right here [in the hatch window].

Anders: Let me get it out this one, it's a lot clearer.

Lovell: Bill, I got it framed, it's very clear right here!

[shutter click]

Lovell: Got it?

Anders: Yep.

Lovell: Take several, take several of 'em! Here, give it to me!

Anders: Wait a minute, just let me get the right setting here now, just calm down.

Lovell: Take -

Anders: Calm down, Lovell!

Lovell: Well, I got it right - aw, that's a beautiful shot…

Quiet Night Thought – Kimi Poon

静夜思                 李白

床前明月光       疑是地上霜       舉頭望明月       低頭思故鄉

Quiet Night Thought, written by Li Bai

Bright moonlight before my bed,

I suppose it is frost on the ground.

I raise my head, looking at the Moon then I lower my head, missing my whole village.

這是 一首耳熟能詳的唐詩 几乎所有人小時候都背誦過的詩句。

床前灑滿皎潔的月光, 乍看以為是地上的霜, 抬起頭來一看 看到了明亮的月亮, 低下頭來就想到家鄉

這首詩用著簡單的字眼 但卻訴說著每個離鄉人的心聲。

Quiet Night Thought is a well-known and famous poem written by Li Bai in the Tang Dynasty.

This poem uses simple words but it expresses the feelings of all people who leave their home town, no matter the reason.

小時候學習這首詩的時候,我還是住在家裡,並不了解這首詩裡說的思鄉情是什麼。現在當我成為了一個留學生,再成為一個移民, 住在一個離家5700公里的國度, 我才明白為什麼這首詩能被流傳至今。 不是因為他用詞有多優美,或是使用了什麼特別的技巧,而是他真真正正的引起迴響和共鳴。

When I was a child, I lived with my family.  Therefore when I learned this poem, I did not understand what homesickness was.  When I turned seventeen, I became an international student and then I became a migrant.  Living in a country that is almost 5,700 kilometres away from home, all of a sudden I am enlightened with the emotion in this poem, and also the reason why this poem has passed down through the years and is told over and over again.  It wasn’t because of the beautiful word choices, or what special technique he adopted, but it is how the Moon relates to people, how it connects with people.

你有曾經想過為什麼明明離家這麼遠,但是你看到的月亮卻是那麼相似? 難道我們不會因為不同的角度而看到月球的不同面嗎?

嚴格來說, 不同地點在同一時刻看到的月球是會稍為不同,但是這是很難注意到的。這是因為月亮離地球只有38 万千米,而地球本身直徑則超過1.2万千米,所以當我們在不同地方看月亮的時候, 最多偏差不到2度, 不足以改變肉眼能觀察到的不同。而且因為月球和地球一樣都在公轉的同時在自轉,而月球公轉周期是和自轉 一樣,同為27.3日。 因此,月球總是以同一面面向地球。

Have you ever thought about why we see the same Moon everywhere on the Earth?  Technically we should see a different Moon at different places, even at the same time.  However, we may not be able to notice the difference.  This is because the distance between the Moon and the Earth is just about 303,000 kilometres while the diameter of the Earth itself is about 12,000 kilometres already.  As a result, the greatest difference between the farthest two places in the world is just two degrees, which is not visible with the naked eye.  Besides, our companion the Moon rotates while it orbits Earth.  It takes the same length of time to circle around the Earth as it completes a revolution on its axis, with is about 27.3 days.  That’s why we always see the same side of the Moon.

我在想 會不會有一天我們也能夠看到月球的另外一面呢?很快中國將會發射嫦娥四號月球探測器到月球的背面,從而尋找 月球是否有機會成為人類第二個家。我們以前並沒辦法做到 因為當太空人去到月球的另一面的時候,我們沒辦法透過無線電跟他們進行通訊。但是現在中國已經發射了一枚中繼星鵲橋並落在月球的背面和地球測控中心之間,以確保兩者之間的數據傳輸,大大增加了嫦娥4號成功降落月球的可能。

I wonder if we will ever become familiar with the other side of the Moon.  So in China we sent a spacecraft currently named Shenzhou, to search for the possibilities of the Moon being a second home to people.  We have never been able to do it before because we didn’t have radio contact with astronauts when they went to the far side of the Moon.  A satellite called Queqiao now orbits to far behind the far side of the Moon so that astronauts can communicate with Earth, to make the landing possible.


The Moon is a place that unites all of us as humans, a place where we work together as humans, to discover more about ourselves and the universe.  Next time you look up at the Moon, keep in mind that we share the same Moon regardless of where you are and who you are.

Clear Day on the Moon – Apollo 14

Hey Fredo, we sure picked a clear day to arrive.  There’s not much haze in the air at all.  I can see all the way to the horizon.


Yuri – Kimberley Moulton

My name is Kimberley Moulton, I’m a Yorta Yorta woman, and my people are from the north-east of Victoria.  Yorta Yorta people make up one of the 38 different nations of Victoria.

In my language we have a few words for Moon.  For Moon we have the word Yuringadja and we also have the word Yuri.  For moonlight we have Yuringuk .

Past Mission’s Flag – Apollo 17

MC: The flag they’re deploying is the flag that has been in the mission control centre here during past missions.

Cernan: No, I've never put a flag up on the Moon before.

Schmitt: What!?

Cernan: Pull that end.

Cernan: How about getting it stretched out?

Schmitt: I will. I just can't start forward as fast as I'd like to.

Schmitt: Well, it's going to want to curl. Maybe it'll...It sort of looks like it's waving in the breeze.

Cernan: Yes, sir. How about right there? (Pause)

Parker: We've got a beautiful picture of you guys up (on the screen) down there (in the front of the Control Room).

Cernan: Let me tell you, Bob. This flag is a beautiful picture.

Cernan: Houston...

Schmitt: That's beautiful.

Cernan: ...this has got to be one of the most proud moments of my life. I guarantee you.

Schmitt: Houston, I don't know how many of you are aware of this, but this flag has flown in the MOCR since Apollo 11. And we very proudly deploy it on the Moon, to stay for as long as it can, in honor of all those people who have worked so hard to put us here and to put every other crew here and to make the country, United States, and mankind, something different than it was.

Skepticism and Moon Landings – Steve Roberts, Australian Skeptics

Okay, I’m Steve Roberts, a member of Australia Sceptics, retired now but I’ve worked in science all my life.  I’ve got degrees in Chemistry originally, and yeah, the Sceptics go around investigating claims that look preposterous.  They all try to show up claims as being preposterous if they in fact are.  And we’re anxious that the public is not misled or defrauded or endangered by outlandish claims. 

So it’s a popular theory that the Moon landings didn’t happen – they were cooked up in a film studio, or some kind of swindle of the public there and it was thought to be too hard.  That was the whole point of doing it.  It was too hard.  It was J F Kennedy who said that, he said it was too hard.  And when you look at the pictures from the Moon, this is fifty years ago, forty-nine years ago.  It’s amazing.  There were no stars in the sky for example, there’s the Moon, there’s the astronauts, there’s the module, the sky is totally black.  Well, why are there no stars in the sky?  And that actually leads to the notion, well, that was done in a film studio and they forgot to put the stars in, which would be a bit of an oversight, you’d think.  If Stanley Kubrick had done that, he would not have forgotten to put the stars in.  And when they planted a flag, an American flag, it’s made of tinfoil and it flutters.  There’s a breeze blowing.  Well, that would have been edited out.  They’d do it again if that really happened.  But you can actually look at the reasons for these things happening.

There were no stars because the camera is not exposed enough to see the stars, to get the Moon’s surface in reasonable brightness.  You have to stop the camera right down and it cuts all the stars out.  If you opened up the exposure on the camera, you would see the stars.  But the smooth surface of the Moon would just be a white blob.  The flag flutters because it’s in a vacuum, and when they planted the flag he shook the pole a bit and the flag shook and it continues to shake, there’s no air to damp it down, so it’s actually, the flag fluttering if you see the film of that, it’s actually proof that they’re in a vacuum.

There’s lot of small reasons, people spot in the pictures.  There’s thought to be a Coke bottle.  It’s a lens flare.  It’s a reflection of the light in the lens of the camera bouncing to and fro in the lens and coming out and making a blur of light at the bottom of the picture.  But every time you explain something the conspiracy fans will find something else that they can’t understand and you have to explain that.

One of the main reasons about cooking up the Moon landing is it would be cheaper, it was thought to be cheaper, but actually it would be far more expensive to cook it up in 1969 than to actually fly to the Moon and do it.  It was a very high risk mission.  It only cost about 12 million dollars.  It was nothing in modern money, nothing at all.  It was high risk flying these blokes to the Moon, but it wasn’t a very expensive project.  A movie film in those days, there’s no stop motion, there’s was no CGI graphics, there was no animation that you could have in that quality.  The first Star Wars film was eight years later and they had space craft filmed going in front of a planet, and that was the first time they could do that.  1977.  So you can’t really cook up movies of men in studios in front of a background.  It couldn’t be done in 1969.  We have about 380 kilograms on the Earth of moon rock, that have been brought back from various missions and these moon rocks agree with one another that they are moon rock.  You can actually tell scientifically from isotopes and the spread of chemical animus in them that they are from the Moon, they are not from the Earth.

So again you would have to have all these geologists in your conspiracy to say, this moon rock is not really a moon rock, but we’ll say it’s moon rock.  You’d have to keep all them happy as well.

Why should there be a conspiracy is the wider question.  People look at these pictures, the photos, there’s no stars and they can’t explain that to themselves, and they’re actually looking for the scientific reason why there are no stars.  They look for a political reason why there are no stars, because it’s made in a film studio.  And I think if they think there’s a conspiracy, it makes them feel bigger.  There’s this conspiracy to hide the moon landings, only I know about it.  Or only a select few people, including me, know about this.  This is endemic to the heart of all people who believe conspiracies that they think it makes them kind of special.  But they haven’t addressed why, for example, how come these people are going around talking about this and they’re still going around talking about it, that’s the thing that conspiracy … if you’ve got a very good conspiracy, you’d have to address that.  How can they walk around still believing this?  They haven’t been polished off by the CIA or Mossad or somebody.

Temperatures on the Moon – Dr Tanya Hill

So, if we end up ever living on the Moon, one of the really tough things to deal with is that you’re dealing with extremes, extremes in temperature.  So when it’s daytime on the Moon, and daytime on the Moon actually lasts for two whole weeks, when it’s daytime on the Moon, it becomes incredibly hot, a hundred degrees Celsius.  And this would be way too hot for us to be able to function and that’s why the Apollo astronauts of course had their space suits – it was all about keeping them cool, and cooling them down, and allowing them to survive in those extreme temperatures.  But then, what happens, after two weeks of scorching heat, it’s then followed by two weeks of night and because there’s no atmosphere on the Moon, there’s nothing that can trap the heat of the day and so the temperatures on the Moon plummet when night time comes – well below freezing, and so therefore living on the Moon you have to deal with both this extreme heat during the two weeks of daytime, and then extreme cold during the two weeks of night.

The other interesting thing too, is that here on Earth we’re used to, as the sun sets, we get these beautiful dusky twilights, and that’s because the sunlight is being scattered through the Earth’s atmosphere, and you kind of have these sort of leisurely dips into night.  But if you think about being on the Moon, and again there’s no atmosphere, that means that that change between day and night is also going to happen quite quickly.  There’s no dusky twilight.  Pretty much once the Sun disappears below the horizon, it’s then dark night has descended.  And that night is two weeks long as I said.

So, one of the things that could be interesting, that could help us deal with living on the Moon and trying to cope between these two extremes is quite exciting.  Just recently scientists have uncovered that below the frozen magma oceans on the Moon there are still some lava tunnels.  So tunnels where lava once flowed out on to the surface of the Moon.  There empty tunnels still exist, and they’re huge.  They’re like huge big caverns.  So maybe in fact we might want to think about building our lunar base in one of these caverns, in these tunnels, because that would then protect us from the extremes of heat.  It also means, up on the lunar surface, and without any atmosphere, you also have all the UV radiation hitting us.  Now we know that’s what we protect our skin here on Earth from UV light, but the atmosphere also helps us as well.  But on the Moon there’s no atmosphere helping us, and so too, that’s another thing that we can be protected from all the harsh radiation.  If you actually spend most of your time living underground on the Moon.

So I find it quite of an interesting thought that maybe one day we may be lunar explorers and we might be living in caves under the Moon’s surface.

Crater Poppie - Apollo 17

Hatch is closed.  Barely.  Hey Jack, don’t lock it.

I’m not going to lock it.

We’ve got to go back there.  If you lose the key, we’re in trouble.

Hey, who’s been tracking up my surface?  Okay.

Hey man.  Put your visor down and I’ll be there and you can fix my ah tool harness I don’t like that thing loose. 

Okay.  Okay, I tell you what, I think I landed.  About a hundred metres from Poppie at ten o’clock.  I think that’s Poppie.  I think that’s an awful big hole.

Well, I know.  I’ve got to look around a little more.

It sure is not Trident!

You’re pretty agile there twinkle toes. 

You bet your life I am.

Dar Al Ghani 400 - Oskar Lindenmayer

My name’s Oscar Lindenmayer and I’m Geoscience’s Collection Manager, so I look after access to the collection of rocks, minerals, meteorites, those sorts of things, and also cataloguing things and that sort of stuff.

So the Moon is likely to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago when a Mars-sized planetary body, or proto-planetary body collided with the newly coalescing Earth and this collision resulted in a disc of debris that was flung out into Earth’s orbit and that eventually coalesced into the Moon.  The light patches that you can see on the surface of the Moon, even with the naked eye, is called the Moon’s highlands and they’re composed of a rock called anorthosite which is called that because it’s mainly made of this mineral called anorthoclase.  They formed relatively early in the Moon’s geological history, in about the first hundred million years of its existence as the molten Moon began to cool and solidify, so the more dense material that crystallised out of this magma ocean would have sunk and the less dense material floated and that less dense material is what now forms the Moon’s highlands which are the lighter areas of the moon.

The darker areas are what are called the lunar maria or lunar oceans and they’re basically areas where lava flows have gone over the surface of the Moon, which are basically made of basalt, which is also a fairly common rock on Earth, and these lava flows would have flowed into lower lying areas which is why it’s now the lower lying areas of the Moon that are darker coloured basalt, which as you may know is a very common rock on Earth and makes up, you know, in fact it’s the most common rock type on the Earth’s surface.

The specimen we have on display is called Dar al Ghani 400 which means it’s the 400th meteorite that was found in this area called Dar al Ghani which is in Libya in the Sahara Desert.  And it was found in 1998 and when it was found it was the largest known meteorite to have been sourced from the Moon, and the fact that it was decided, it was determined it was sourced from the Moon, is based on its mineral composition and the chemistry of those minerals.  And basically the way it would have ended up in the Sahara Desert is a large asteroid impact on the Moon would have flung debris out into space and some of it was lucky enough to land on Earth.

The specimen we have here is actually a very thin slice of the original meteorite, which weighted 1.4 kilos, roughly.  So, the appearance of the specimen is quite fractured and you can see there’s lots of different coloured bits, white bits and darker bits, and greyish bits, and they’re from a mixture of processes but they’re all resulting from asteroid impacts that would have affected the rocks before the asteroid impact that flung them eventually onto Earth.  So some of these processes will have done things like fracturing the rock, others will have done things like partially melting the rock, which is what the darker areas are the result of.

Lunar Highlands  – Apollo 15

Oh, look at the mountains today Jim, and they’re all sunlit and they’re beautiful.

By golly, that’s just super.  It’s still unreal.

It reminds me of my favourite biblical passage, I look unto the hills from whence cometh my help.

Of course we get quite a bit from Houston too.

Chinese Lunar Calendar and New Year – Katrina Lin




The Chinese calendar is based on the Moon’s phases with 12 or 13 months each year. It is 20-50 days behind the Gregorian calendar, whose 12 months, January to December, are based on the position of the sun.

The 13th month of the Chinese calendar is added in as a ‘leap month’ every second or third year to keep the calendar roughly aligned with the solar year.

Each month begins with a new moon and has a full moon on day 15.


The names of the Chinese calendar months relate to blossoming flowers or fruits, festivals, and cultural practices. For example, in Xìngyuè (杏月) or Apricot month, apricot trees blossom.

正月,就是阴历的第一个月。每年这时,华夏子孙们便会欢度中国最重要的节日 --- 春节。每逢春节,人们张灯结彩,举办传统表演,阖家团聚享用中华美食,观赏烟花,习俗中最重要就是派红包了。红包如其名,基本都是红色的,是幸运吉利的象征。

The first month, Zhēngyuè (正月), meaning Start Month, is celebrated with China’s most important festival – Chinese New Year. The New Year is celebrated with many decorations, traditional performances and food, family dinners, fireworks and the giving of red envelopes. The decorations and envelopes are usually red, symbolising good luck.


This year Chinese New Year falls on February 5th, and is a year of the pig.

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