Herschel and the Great Moon Hoax

May 11th marks the passing of the English astronomer, Sir John Frederick William Herschel. He was one of the better known English scientists of the time and made several contributions to astronomy. One contribution he was credited for was the discovery of life on the Moon. Existance of life on the Moon is a common question from kids and this might be the best answer for them.

Starting on August 25, 1835, six articles were published by the New York Sun newspaper describing Herschel’s observation of Moon creatures such as unicorns, bipedal beavers and bat-winged humanoids. The Great Moon Hoax was written by Richard A. Locke to increase circulation for the New York Sun. It wasn’t exposed as a hoax for two weeks and no retraction was ever made. Herschel was initially amused by the stories, but grew tired of trying to explain to people he had nothing to do with it or denying the observations to people who believed the hoax.

read full story: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/moonhoax.html


3 thoughts on “Herschel and the Great Moon Hoax

  1. Joan Chamberlin says:

    Dear Mponda,
    This was a fascinating article and one that I had never heard of. Thank you for sending this. I’ll send it to my friends, who I am sure will get a laugh from it.


    • Mponda Malozo says:

      Yes it is cool and I think teachers should be aware of this and know exactly how to respond to this question.
      I have been using telescope to show the Moon to the kids and they usually wonder why they don’t see people on it’s surface. I first thought this idea came from the stories due to different patches seen on the moon surface, but now I know that there is more than what I knew.

      Hence it’s very important to share and ensure that our kids gets right information

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