10 April 2008

If ...

When looking for Arthur C. Clark novels in my bookshelves I found Duncan Lunan´s book New Worlds for Old published in 1979. In the chapter The Colonization of the Moon by A.F. Nimmo (President, European Space Association) Nimmo writes: "In 1474 Toscanelli, the librarian at Florence, told his friend Columbus that the world was round. It said so in one of the books of the Apocrypha. Later Columbus borrowed a copy from a clerical friend in Spain and there it was ... according to Aristarchus, the Earth was round, it went around the Sun, and the stars were very distant ... it took less than 480 years from the date of Columbus´ sailing to Neil Armstrong´s "giant leap for mankind" on the Moon. If humanity had listened to Aristarchus and Eratosthenes instead of waiting for Columbus, the first man might have walked on the Moon around 280 AD. We would now have about 1,700 years of space flight ..."

Well isn´t this an interesting type of "If " thoughts don´t you think?

Aristarchus 310 BC - ca. 230 BC

Aristarchus crater is the brightest of the large formations on the lunar surface.