The Moon is our planet's closest neighbor. It's responsible for our tides, seasons, the stabilization of our axis, and the length of our days and nights. Without it, most life forms on Earth would likely not exist. But how much do we really know about this mysterious orb? After much scientific study, many questions still remain unanswered. The documentary Moon Mysteries, produced by the popular Naked Science series, seeks to fill in and explore these gaps in our understanding.
The film opens by taking us back 4.5 million to the time of the Moon's formation. The prevailing scientific consensus tells us that this event was precipitated by a violent collision with our planet. Over a long and deliberate course of time, the waves of debris produced by this impact began to coalesce and form what we know today as the Moon.
By unlocking additional details about the Moon's vast history, researchers hope they can also learn more about the evolution of our own planet, its earliest inhabitants and what fates may lie in wait for us all. In a series of thought-provoking interviews, several top figures in the world of science help us grapple with complex concepts.
There's Neil Comins, a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Maine, who outlines the Moon's influence on the Earth's tides billions of years ago. These tides - measuring thousands of feet in height and hundreds of miles in diameter - begat a mineral-rich "primordial soup" which birthed the earliest origins of life.
Then there's Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Iowa State University. Studying lunar meteorites that have landed on Earth, he wonders if meteorites from our planet may in turn populate the Moon, and what secrets these might reveal about our species.
For every theory, there are many more questions in search of definitive answers. Can our observations of the Moon help us predict the occurrence of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions? Why is the Moon slowly moving away from the Earth at a rate of 1.5 inches per year?
Festooned with gorgeous photography, informative animations and a wealth of invaluable insights, Moon Mysteries is a fascinating and enlightening viewing experience.