(Far-side of the Moon, as photographed by astronaut Al Worden)
Recently the BBC interviewed astronaut Al Worden who flew on the Apollo 15 mission to the Moon. He stayed in the ship while the other astronauts landed. Instead, he took photos of the dark-side of the Moon.
He described the far side of the Moon like so:
What I found was that the number of stars was just so immense. In fact I couldn’t pick up individual stars, it was like a sheet of light. I found that fascinating because it changed my ideas about how we think about the Universe.
There are billions of stars out there – the Milky Way galaxy that we’re in contains billions of stars, not just a few. And there are billions of galaxies out there. So what does that tell you about the Universe? That tells you we just don’t think big enough. To my mind that’s the whole purpose of the space programme, to figure out what that’s all about.
I wish I could have seen it myself. 🙂