This examination of Earth’s closest orbital companion presents historical information, scientific fact and theory, an overview of the Apollo missions, and recent discoveries.
Scott first introduces readers to thinkers and scientists, from Anaxagoras to Galileo, who observed, mapped, and tested theories about the moon. The invention of the telescope and the ascendancy of scientific methodology propelled a centurieslong continuum of discovery. Today, the widely accepted “giant impact theory” posits that debris resulting from a colossal collision of a planetary object with Earth formed the basis for our moon. Notably, Scott casts a fresh new look at the successful Apollo missions, whose trove of 800 pounds of moon rocks continues to invite research. NASA’s sophisticated unmanned 21st-century missions—which led to the thrilling discovery of the presence of water on the moon—garner respectful scrutiny. Scott shows that the global race to explore (and perhaps even colonize) the moon, which began with Russia’s unmanned 1959 Luna 2 mission, is ongoing—with Japan, China, and India mounting missions. Scott excels at rendering complex ideas intelligible: radioactive dating, the science of craters, the role of a planet's atmosphere, and much more are clearly presented.
Well-captioned illustrations and photographs, diagrams, and pithy text boxes round out this handsome package. (glossary, bibliography, websites, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)