Our nearest celestial neighbour, the Moon, has always been the most conspicuous feature in our night sky. It has compelled observers since the dawn of humankind, and all have tried to make sense in their own ways of the puzzles it poses and the questions it raises. It provided our ancient ancestors with one of the earliest means of keeping and measuring time, and many early religions had cults that worshipped the Moon. It regulates the tides and has been held accountable for numerous human conditions, most notably madness and psychological disorders.
Drawing on many years of practical observation, Bill Leatherbarrow provides an illuminating insight into the history and evolution of this enthralling astronomical body. He describes how and why the study of the Moon has evolved, particularly in the age of the telescope, and offers an overview of developments in lunar science since the advent of the space age. Leatherbarrow also provides practical advice on how to make your own observations of the Moon. Extensively illustrated with images of the lunar surface, The Moon is an accessible introduction that will appeal to both amateur and professional astronomers and all those fascinated by Earth's natural satellite.
1 Our Companion Moon: From Mirror to Museum
2 The Moon as a World: Observation and Discovery in the Telescopic Age
3 The Moon in the Modern Age
4 The Moon in the Age of Spacecraft Exploration
5 Observing the Moon
Further Reading and Resources
Professor Bill Leatherbarrow is a life-long amateur astronomer and observer of the Moon. A former President of the British Astronomical Association (2011-2013), he is currently Director of the association's Lunar Section. He is the author and editor of over a dozen books and in 2016 minor planet 95852 was named after him by the International Astronomical Union.
"The more astronomy has learned about our solar system, the more fascinating these lifeless worlds have become. This is certainly true of Earth's nearest neighbor and very nearly sister planet, the moon. It's in every way the most familiar of all our celestial neighbors, and yet, as Leatherbarrow's beautifully illustrated new book makes clear, the moon still holds surprises. Wonderfully produced by Reaktion Books, The Moon takes readers through the various stages of humanity's curiosity about the moon, including the first rudimentary attempts to understand what this luminous object in the sky actually was. Leatherbarrow's energetic narrative tells the familiar story of the leaps science has made in seeing this next-door neighbor clearly."
– Christian Science Monitor
"A respected planetary observer since the 1960s, Bill Leatherbarrow's concise account reflects his deep understanding of the development of lunar science. This book is a "must-have" for all observers and students of the Moon."
– Martin Mobberley, President of the British Astronomical Association from 1997 to 1999
"Bill Leatherbarrow has provided a fascinating look at the history of both the Moon and how it has been observed, following up that information with numerous tips on how to observe the Moon and understand the complexities of the features that you will be looking at yourself. I highly recommend this book to anyone of any level of lunar observing skill."
– Robert A. Garfinkle, FRAS