So whether you believe man walked on the Moon … or not … the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s iconic visit to our nearest cosmic neighbour is approaching! 
 
The Apollo 11 spaceflight was launched by a powerful Saturn V rocket from the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida on 16th July 1969. This year, there is a full moon on 16th July AND there's a partial eclipse taking place on the same evening! We can't wait and to find out more, click here
 
Following lift off, the astronauts – Neil, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins – whizzed through space towards the Moon. 
 
Neil and Buzz used the Lunar Module, the Eagle, to land on the Sea of Tranquillity on 20th July – hence the phrase ‘The Eagle has landed!’ probably one of the most quotable quotes in history! 
 
Neil and Buzz disembarked on 21st July and they spent around 21 hours on the lunar surface. Michael patiently kept their command module, Columbia, in orbit around the Moon while his companions gathered rocks and samples. 
 
So half a century ago, those of us of a certain age will have watched this historic moment that still resonates today. 
 
Yet there are ‘nay sayers’ out there … many people think the lunar landings simply didn’t take place! 
 
There are arguments suggesting the entire thing was the product of an elaborate hoax and was created in a film studio in a secret location. 
These arguments are tempting … yet would a government really go to such lengths to create such a story … and where did all that money go if the Apollo missions didn’t take place? 
 
Here at the Riviera Guesthouse we often look at the Moon as it changes shape throughout the month. We love seeing it rise out of the sea at certain times of year and also marvel at it getting obscured by an eclipse every now and again. 
 
You can see the Moon’s dark areas, or ‘Seas’ with the naked eye … back in history, astronomers thought these were oceans. The Sea of Tranquillity was named by astronomers Francesco Grimaldi and Giovanni Battista Riccioli in 1651. 
 
Our Moon-watching is also the result of us living near the coast. The Moon’s position dictates our tides (as does the Sun); however the Moon plays a bigger role as it is so much closer (about 240,000 miles away). The gravitational force of the Moon and Sun pulls the water upwards (high tides) while in other places, the water drains back at the same time (low tides). 
High and low tides occur twice a day and are predictable in both time and height. Our local fishermen keep an eye on the tides and calculate when they can fish safely. 
 
So even though the Moon is thousands of miles away, it has a huge impact on our daily lives. 
 
In July, whether you believe it was a ‘giant leap for mankind’ or not, look up at the Moon in wonder and awe as it has so much influence over us earthlings! 
 
And did you know we have an observatory close to the Riviera? Dalby Forest has two domed buildings from which you can go star gazing at certain times of year. With fantastic dark skies overhead, this location is perfect for a bit of Moon gazing, too! 
 
 
Also Whitby Museum has a special exhibition called 'Whitby and the Cosmos' unitl 20th July 2019. Find out more here.  
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