British astronomer and television show host Patrick Moore died Sunday at his home in Selsey, England. He was 89. The beloved xylophone-playing, monocle-wearing scientist published his first paper about the moon when he was just 13 and went on to author more than 60 books about astronomy.
In 1957 (more than a decade before Neil Armstrong’s famous journey) Moore published “A Guide to the Moon,” a magically detailed travel manual to Earth’s natural satellite. The book is so descriptive that, according to the Popular Science reporter who reviewed it, “you may be unprepared for an outstanding impression of your first visit to the moon.” Here’s more:
That’s the powder. A blanket of it covers everything, even steep slopes of jagged mountains. Perhaps a foot deep, the glassy stuff yields underfoot like quicksand, and you must learn the knack of getting around in it. Static charges make it cling to your space suit and the window of your space helmet. Although fine as face powder, it isn’t like dust, since there’s virtually no air for it to float in. It’s an odd sight to see the powder settle instantly, after you stir it up by wallowing through it or skiing over it.
Read the full story in our November 1953 issue.