The Moon

Genre: Documentary


1972 was the year

a great love affair ended.

The human race

fell out of love with the moon.

It was a classic case

of familiarity breeds contempt.

There'd been six moon landings,

and we'd grown bored.

To this day, no-one has been back.

The moon did turn out to be dull.

It's... What do you see?

A barren, colourless landscape

with fragmentary rock

all over the place.

Our eyes wandered

to other more intriguing worlds.

Throughout the solar system,

scientists found many more moons

that seemed far more exciting than

our own dull pile of grey rock.

For 35 years,

our own moon has been abandoned.

But now,

all that's about to change.

This is the story

of our love affair with the moon.

What inspired it,

how it faded away,

and how now we're slowly,

but surely,

falling in love all over again.

Our love affair with the moon

s an ancient one.

It is Earth's constant companion

in the dark emptiness of space.

The moon has looked down

on the whole of human history.

And throughout history,

we have looked up at it.

It has inspired great myths

and legends.

We've feared it

and we've worshipped it.

5,000 years ago, in a remote

corner of the Outer Hebrides,

a Neolithic community

made its home.

We know very little

about these people,

but they've left us an enduring symbol of

their profound relationship with the moon.

Islanders Margaret Curtis

and her husband Ron

have devoted their lives

to understanding that relationship.

I find a link with these people -

that our minds seem work

along the same ideas.

This has been very much a detective

story - sorting it all out.

They may not have had writing,

but they've set the stones up

in such a way

that we can fathom out

what they were after.

No-one knows for certain what the

Standing Stones of Callanish represent.

But their positioning suggests

that they're a tribute to the moon,

part sacred site

and part ancient observatory.

These stones at Callanish

are a sort of lunar computer -

a lunar calendar.

And it's a computer that's still

working after 5,000 years,

which is more than we can say for

the computers we've got nowadays.

The stones seem to be arranged so they track the movements

of the moon through the sky from month to month.

Nowadays, we're not fully aware

of what the moon's doing in the sky.

We know short days in the winter,

long days in the summer.

But the moon's plodding on, doing the same

sort of thing over a much longer cycle.

Whereas we nowadays aren't fully aware of where the

northernmost moon rises or sets, or the southernmost,

our prehistoric ancestors -

5,000 years ago -

did know and they set

these stones out

to mark these

extreme positions of the moon.

Most of all, the stones could predict the

timing of a spectacular and rare lunar event.

To the south of Callanish

is a range of hills

which resemble

a woman lying on her back.

Every 18 years, the full moon rises

out of the hills.

It rolls along the woman's body...

and then vanishes.

But moments later,

it is re-born -

right in the centre

of the stone circle.

Legend says that anyone

who witnessed this magical event

would be blessed

with the gift of fertility.

It has always been

the full moon,

above all else,

that has stirred the human spirit.

Yet the moon

has no light of its own.

Its glow

is simply reflected sunlight.

As it orbits our planet,

the portion of the sunlit surface

that we see changes.

This gives us

the phases of the moon -

a twenty-nine-and-a-half-day cycle

that waxes to full

and then wanes back to new.

When the moon is full, the night

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Moon" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 22 Oct. 2020. <>.

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