Saturday, 3 February 2018

Of Moons and Mould.

On this day in 1966, the Soviet Union sent space probe Luna 9 to the moon which sent back photographs confirming that the surface of the moon was firm, not dusty and that in fact the rocky terrain resembled chocolate-hued volcanic rock. How thrilling...

We have previously despaired over the Orcadian newspaper's determined disinterest in man's first forays into outer space and a brief check of the papers which followed this momentous day for science confirmed this stance.

There was a moon-themed article (see below). 'Ah-ha', I thought, 'this must be it.' But no. It was instead an amateur photography article about taking photos in the moonlight. The author exhorts his readers to photograph their family while they sleep. 'There's no need for the sleeper to know you've even been...'

Orcadian 7th February 1966

We are extremely thorough in the Orkney Archive and so I checked the next week's paper just in case their staff had been so completely overwhelmed by Luna 9's voyage they found themselves unable to write about it for over a week. Nothing. They did find time to include this piece about some slime on a fence post though.

Orcadian 17th February 1966

1 comment:

  1. I'm old enough that I remember the Luna 9 expedition (and Sputnik, too!). It was amazing to learn what the Moon's surface consists of. And reassuring to know that the first men who walked there would not sink out of sight in the dust.

    I have a gorgeous picture I took by moonlight, across a lovely lake in the middle of Michigan's Lower Peninsula (Higgins Lake, in case you want to widen your geographical horizons). I enjoyed getting that photo, despite the mosquitoes that attempted to help me. ^_^

    I wonder if the Schoolhouse in Stromness would still analyze slime mold. And I wonder if the version that grows here is the same as the one that was growing in Binscarth and Birsay.



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