Half a year has passed since the start of 2022. Astronomically speaking, the Earth orbits the Sun from its original position and flies in the opposite direction. Surprisingly, people on Earth only feel the change of time and seasons, and cannot feel that the Earth is revolving around the sun at an average speed of about 110,000 km/h.
The moon orbits the Earth’s center at an average speed of 3680 km/h. It is also difficult to estimate the speed. The moon’s phase changes every day, its rising position changes, and it only informs that the cycle is about 29.5 days, but the lunar date is gradually being alienated from the interest of modern people. Still, when you look at the moon floating in the night sky through a telescope, the existence of the moon is already impressive enough to call you a cosmic superstar.
For a long time in Korea, the figure of a rabbit was reminiscent of a full moon pattern. For this reason, many myths and stories are told about the moon and rabbits. In China, it was called jade (玉兎), and in Korea it was also called jade rabbit. Some believe that it originated from the Indian loam idea that the moon embraces rabbits.
It is a common idea in Korea, China, and India to see the pattern of the full moon as a rabbit. In Europe, in the form of a man, in Hawaii as a laurel, and in New Zealand as a woman, the shape associated with the moon pattern is different in each region. It was caused by the fusion of cultural foundations and traditional tales, but the imagination of the moon continued as it was talked about throughout the ages.
The black part of the moon’s terrain is called the sea. Although it is not an actual sea, it has been called the sea for a long time. During the formation of the moon, the black basalt component was dissolved and it erupted into a crater, covering the surface of the earth, creating a vast plain. Representative examples include the sea of calm, the sea of clarity, the sea of abundance, and the sea of alcohol. The Sea of Silence is the title of a movie starring Korean actors that was recently released through Netflix. In fact, this is the site where the first human lunar lander, Apollo 11, landed in 1969.
Developed countries are scrambling for space exploration. Korea has also come to see the first fruits of its lunar exploration project. Recently, the name of Korea’s first lunar probe was selected as ‘Danuri’ through a public contest. It is a compound word of ‘moon’ and ‘enjoy’, and it contains the meaning of enjoying the whole moon. Various research and experiments such as lunar surface exploration are carried out with six advanced equipment.
The wide-field polarized camera developed by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute uses polarized images to analyze the effects of lunar surface particles and cosmic radiation. The high-resolution camera developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute searches for candidate sites for the lunar landing mission that will be promoted after the lunar probe. Kyung Hee University measures the magnetic field around the moon to study the cause of the moon’s formation with a magnetic field meter. In addition, it is equipped with a gamma-ray spectrometer (Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources), space internet (Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute), and a permanent shadow camera (NASA).
Meanwhile, the international manned lunar exploration project ‘Artemis’ announced plans to operate a lunar base where humans reside on the moon in 2028. South Korea’s participation in the recent South Korea-US summit has become a reality as it has decided to strengthen cooperation in the space sector. It is time for the role of the new government and public interest in space exploration and development.
American astronomer Carl Sagan said, ‘Without imagination, we can’t go anywhere.’ The reason we explore the universe is because ‘the product of the stars thinks the stars’ and ‘thinks about the origin of mankind’.