Dogs, wolves and the occasional human have been known to howl at it. At times it seems to follow us. Over the centuries, humans have used it to plant by, harvest by and navigate by.
Odes and poems have been written about it, as have countless nursery rhymes. It is the subject of a variety of artistic creations.
Lovers gaze at it and talk to it and a wondrous variety of songs have been written about it.
Yes, I’m talking about the moon, and we’ve shown unending fascination in it since the beginning of mankind.
There’s a man on it, according to some myths, movies and songs. A cow jumped over it. A couple of space shuttles did a Road Runner thruster move to slingshot around it to save the Earth. Apparently is has a dark side, and when you get caught between the moon and New York City, the best that you can do is fall in love.
Margaret Wise Brown once wrote…Goodnight, moon.
“Oh, blame it on midnight….Oh, shame on the moon.” We got that from Bob Seger, and Glenn Fry chimed in on the chorus.
And who can forget Frank Sinatra making his eternal request? “Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars…”
The moon fires our imaginations. It is stark and luminous and barren and dark and utterly mysterious.
So today we shot it.
I’m not talking about a little gun filled with rock salt to chase a stray cat out of the garbage can. I mean a serious rocket, followed by a probe that took pictures. NASA smacked a one-two punch into the good ol’ moon to see if it would bleed ice.
First we worship it, we mysticize it and gaze at it. Then we pound laps around it, land on it and leave some junk lying around. Now we’re using heavy artillery on it.
Its probably feeling a little blue right now. Blew?
The first crash was supposed to hit with the force of more than a ton of dynamite, landing in a crater named Cabeus and creating a hole half the size of an Olympic swimming pool. The second crash was to be about one-third as strong.
NASA wanted to try to confirm a theory that water is hidden below the moon’s crusty, dusty surface.
Back in June, NASA hurled the two spacecraft at the moon on a $583 million mission to scout out landing sites for future manned mission and look for evidence of hidden ice. Scientists thought maybe there was ice trapped in the crater shadows near the moon’s South Pole. They figured it could be handy if anyone builds a manned moon base.
But NASA doesn’t expect to find out for a couple of weeks whether ice was part of the flying debris. And early reports seem to indicate that people who hauled themselves out of bed early to watch the show were disappointed, expecting a bigger boom and a bigger plume.
To our mysterious, glorious moon that shines down on us at night, tugs the tides and influences crazy people…
Sorry about that. I’m feeling your pain, big guy.