Wonders of the Moon With Dara Ó Briain | Preview (Channel 5)
Since the beginning of time, generations have looked to the moon – it’s a place filled with wonder, romanticism and dreams. It commands time, tide and life and has had an astonishing impact on life on Earth. It’s spawned countless myths and legends, from werewolves to the belief that a full moon can make you crazy.
Now, in this two-part documentary – writer, comedian, amateur astronomer and astrophotographer Dara Ó Briain explores the ways in which the moon shapes just about everything around us and how we are now looking to shape the moon in the future.
Dara begins his journey by revealing how the moon governs time. Returning to Ireland, near where he grew up, he goes to Newgrange – an ancient archaeological site near the Wicklow Mountains.
It’s an enormous solar calendar but it is now suggested that the mysterious markings on stones around the site could make it the world’s first lunar calendar’s too, created by stone-age farmers to help them plan their crops.
We discover how much the moon still influences life on earth. Farmer Julian Ellis plans his farming according to the phases of the moon. And we discover how much the moon’s immense influence on the tides also governs fisherman Sam Jones’ daily life.
Dara next travels to the coasts of Kent to meet astrobiologist Professor Lewis Dartnell to find out just how far the moon’s influence on life on earth extends. Lewis explains how important the moon’s pull on the Earth’s tides has been to evolution for the animals that live in coastal areas but also on human evolution.
But does the moon still affect life on earth and directly affect people, as many believe? Dara meets Dr Rohin Francis to dig deeper into the myths surrounding the moon’s influence on human behavior, and to discuss some of the latest evidence.
But regardless of the myths and legends – the one way the moon undoubtably shaped our history was the race to put a human on the moon. Dara meets Professor Katie Joy who studies moon rocks brought back from the Apollo missions to find out what they discovered from them and are still discovering.
Katie explains there is a new race to the moon because, incredibly, locked up in rocks across the lunar surface is believed to be vast amounts of water.
Wonders of the Moon With Dara Ó Briain begins Tuesday 01st August on Channel 5.