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Lecture 2: Mythology & Religion

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Lecture 2 of the course Our Moon: From Imagination to Exploration. In this lecture I discuss mythology as it relates to the Moon. Myths include Chang'e, Kaguya, and Chandra.

For more information, please visit https://ourmoon.space/

Published in: Education
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Lecture 2: Mythology & Religion

  1. 1. Our Moon Lecture 2 Mythology & Religion Chandrayaan-2 (Vikram) landing Friday, September 7th Image: NASA/ASU Apollo 11 2,200 km (1,400 mi) Driving from JHU to Houston, TX
  2. 2. Highly Simplified Definitions Myths Stories Religion Stories, Beliefs, Rituals, Texts, Sacred Places Be respectful Both have meaning to different people We are learning about the connection to the Moon
  3. 3. What is the Moon? Two Girls on the Veranda Looking at the Moon Suzuki Harunobu 18th Century No telescopes (till 1609) No theory of gravity (till 1687) No spacecraft (till 1959) Observe periodic phases Typically present at night Eclipses on rare occasions Doesn’t seem to rotate Perhaps notice some spots darkerThe Eighth Month Ishikawa Toyomasa circa 1767
  4. 4. Image: D.Helber “Man in the Moon” Image: A Trip to the Moon (1902) Máni and Sól Lorenz Frølich (1895)
  5. 5. Image: Zeimusu Rabbit (or Hare) on the Moon Chinese Jade Rabbit Unidentified artist 18th century Maya Moon Goddess Unidentified artist Around 550-850 CE Aztec God Quetzalcoatl Unidentified artist 16th century
  6. 6. Chang’e in the Lunar Palace Zhou Wenju mid-10th century Image: Freer/Sackler Chang’e (Chinese Goddess) Chang’e Unidentified artist Ming dynasty, 1368–1644 Hou Yi Xiao Yuncong 1645
  7. 7. Ron Evans: Among the large headlines concerning Apollo this morning, is one asking that you watch for a lovely girl with a big rabbit. An ancient legend says a beautiful Chinese girl called Chang-O has been living there for 4,000 years. It seems she was banished to the Moon because she stole the pill of immortality from her husband. You might also look for her companion, a large Chinese rabbit, who is easy to spot since he is always standing on his hind feet in the shade of a cinnamon tree. The name of the rabbit is not reported. Michael Collins: Okay. We'll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl. Ron Evans: Roger. Ronald Evans Apollo 11 Capcom Michael Collins Apollo 11 CMP Chang’e & Apollo 11 Mission Transcript What did I say about being respectful?
  8. 8. Landing Site Image: CNSA Image: NASA/ASUImage: Google News Chang’e 4 & Yutu 2
  9. 9. Kaguya (Japanese Legend) The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter Unidentified artist Late 17th century The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter Tosa Hiromichi Circa 1650 Mount Fuji Possibly named from word for immortality, 不死 (fushi)
  10. 10. SELENE “Kaguya” Spacecraft Images: JAXA Active from 2007 to 2009
  11. 11. Chandra (Indian God) Chandra Unidentified artist Early 18th century Mandala of Chandra, God of the Moon Unidentified artist Late 14th–Early 15th century
  12. 12. Chandrayaan-2 Images: ISRO Sanskrit चन्द्रयान (Candrayāna) meaning ‘moon craft’ Pragyan Vikram
  13. 13. Selene (Greek) Luna (Roman) Image: Sailko Image: antmoose More next week…
  14. 14. Is there a particular myth that you found interesting? Can you find something about one myth that wasn’t mentioned? What is similar/different between the myths? How do you think these myths originated? Consider the Moon’s gender in these myths Ponder Máni Chang’e & YutuMaya Moon Goddess Kaguya Chandra Selene Luna
  15. 15. What did people see? Animation: NASA/GSFC
  16. 16. Around between circa 610 to 546 BCE First to consider a mechanical model Thought Earth was a cylinder Sun & Moon are seen through the holes Moon’s hole changes shape Anaximander of Miletus Earth shown here as a sphere Image: Dirk L. Couprie Summer Winter
  17. 17. Sun Moon Greek philosopher from what is modern day Kuşadası, Turkey (around 500 BCE) To Earth Fires sustained by vapor from the Earth Could explain Moon phases & eclipses Heraclitus of Ephesus
  18. 18. What causes phases of the Moon? Ponder
  19. 19. Animation: NASA/GSFC Explanation
  20. 20. What did people see? Animation: NASA/GSFC
  21. 21. STREPSIADES: I’ve got a lovely scheme to avoid paying interest. SOCRATES: Lay it out. STREPSIADES: All right. Tell me now . . . SOCRATES: What is it? STREPSIADES: What if I purchased a Thessalian witch and in the night had her haul down the moon—then shut it up in a circular box, just like a mirror, and kept watch on it. SOCRATES: How would that provide you any help? STREPSIADES: Well, if no moon ever rose up anywhere, I’d pay no interest. SOCRATES: And why is that? STREPSIADES: Because they lend out money by the month. The Clouds By: Aristophanes (423 BCE) Thessalian Trick
  22. 22. What causes eclipses? Ponder
  23. 23. Animation: NASA/GSFC Explanation
  24. 24. Animation: NASA/GSFC Explanation

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