Monday, 31 May 2010

Moon Rescues The Sun: Tales That Captivated A City

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In August 1835 citizens in New York City received extraordinary news. According to New York Sun journalist Richard Adam Locke, the British astronomer Sir John Herschel had found proof of life on the moon. Using an enormously powerful telescope able to magnify objects 42,000 times, Sir John had distinguished a wide range of flora and fauna with astonishing clarity.

In just one area of the moon, the newspaper disclosed, he had observed 38 species of forest trees, twice that number of other plants, and different creatures, including small reindeer like animals, elks, moose, bears with horns, and beavers with no tails and only two feet. But, as you already figured out, in a bid to boost the declining circulation of the Sun, Locke had fabricated the entire story.

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