THE 40th anniversary of man walking on the moon is not really all that exciting, a Bethanga astronomer has said.
Bob Price, an astronomer so dedicated he has an observatory in his backyard, doesn’t deny the live broadcast from the moon was a momentous point in history.
But he said the fact this year was the 40th anniversary was no different to any other year.
“We (astronomers) are excited that it happened in our lifetime and we got to see it, but we’ve experienced many moments like that,” he said.
“I guess the difference with the lunar landing is that the general public got just as excited as we did.”
Mr Price, 78, said watching Neil Armstrong take his first lunar steps on July 20 1969 was included on a list of highlights, including being able to film the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet as it crashed into Jupiter in 1994.
“Comet hunters” had noticed the comet break into 13 or 14 pieces that looked “like a string of pearls across the sky”.
Mathematicians predicted when they would collide with Jupiter so astronomers could watch it from their telescopes.
“We could see it hitting the upper surface of the atmosphere; it looked like dark splotches in the clouds,” Mr Price said.
Surprisingly, Mr Price does not believe the US should invest more money in space exploration as it did during the Cold War.
“What advantage do we have getting to the moon?” he asked.
“We have enough problems locally on Earth that we need to deal with.”
Mr Price is one of the few astronomers in Australia to have entered an International Year of Astronomy competition to photograph the moon.