What was the Great Moon Hoax and why so many believed such an outlandish fantasy

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Caption,

Life on the Moon, through John Herschel’s magnificent telescope.

In 1835, a story was launched like a rocket into space that left thousands looking at the night sky and seeing a wonderfully eccentric lunar landscape.

It all started in Scotland, with an article entitled “Great Astronomical Discoveries”, published in the scientific journal Edinburgh Journal of Science.

Such discoveries had been made by the prominent astronomer Sir John Herschel, who had traveled in 1834 to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa to catalog the stars of the southern hemisphere.

According to the article written by Dr. Andrew Grant, Herschel’s traveling companion and scribe, found much more than starsthrough a huge telescopic lens 24 feet in diameter and weighing 7 tons, 6 times larger than the largest existing one.

What was the Great Moon Hoax and why so many believed such an outlandish fantasy – BBC News