The Full Moon: Lunar Science & History With Rebecca Boyle - Atlas Obscura Experiences

The Full Moon: Lunar Science & History With Rebecca Boyle

4 sessions
$75 per person
See Dates
$75 per person
$75 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

This course has already started! However, you can still join if you’d like to (and we hope you will!). Students enrolling after the course start date and time will have access to a recording of the first session (which will be emailed to participants within 72 hours) as well as the option to attend remaining sessions live. Please select the “Join Late” ticket type to enroll after the course has begun. 

In this four-part lecture series we’ll explore the science, mythology, religious inspirations, and joy of the Earth’s closest celestial companion, our Moon.

Course Description

The Moon is one of Earth’s most unique features—and it shapes all of the other things that make our planet special, from its geology to its multitudes of life. Earth would be a vastly different planet without our Moon, and we would be different as people! In this course, we’ll dive into the spectacular journey that the Earth and the Moon have shared, providing a new perspective on human history through a lunar lens. Through discussion of lunar history, mythology, and human exploration, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the Moon, Earth, and even yourself. Join expert Rebecca Boyle on this expedition to our nightly marvel.

This course is a perfect opportunity to delve deeper into the Moon’s importance before the upcoming Great American Eclipse taking place on April 8, 2024! This rare total solar eclipse will pass over Mexico, Canada, and the U.S., with countless locations able to witness this astronomical phenomena in totality–including in Hot Springs, Arkansas, at Atlas Obscura’s own Ecliptic Festival. No matter where you see this historic total solar eclipse, it’ll be the perfect time to bring your new Moon mastery to the party! 

Syllabus At A Glance

This course includes four total sessions, each lasting for 1.5 hours on three consecutive Monday beginning March 11.

Session 1 (Monday, 3/11, 8:00—9:30pm ET)| What Has the Moon Done for You?

In this session, we’ll explore the Moon’s vast influence. From Earth’s geological history, to enabling evolution as we know it, the tides, reproductive cycles, gravity, lunar light, and more.

Session 2 (Monday, 3/18, 8:00—9:30pm ET)| The Moon and Time

Our second session will focus on how the Moon became humanity’s primary way of telling time and organizing our lives. How, in the past and present, we’ve used the Moon to mark our lives.

Session 3 (Monday, 3/25, 8:00—9:30pm ET)| The Moon, the Myths, and Religion

We’ll dive into the Moon’s shaping of early human’s understanding of their place in the universe leading to forms of religious devotion. We’ll explore myths and religious ties the Moon holds even today.

Session 4 (Monday, 4/1, 8:00—9:30pm ET)| To the Moon and Back

In our final session, we’ll talk about the history, present and future of Moon landings and exploration. What to expect? What to be concerned about? And, in reflection of the first three lectures, what do we now owe to our spectral satellite?

Course Materials

Students will need a pen, paper, and access to a music app. Your instructor also recommends a Moon map or a basic guide to the Moon's features, so you can develop an understand of what you're seeing at night. For further reading, you can also check out Rebecca Boyle’s book: Our Moon: How Earth’s Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us Who We Are.

Between Sessions

Outside of class, students will receive suggested readings and Moon-related music to explore. We'll also have weekly writing prompts centered around the current Moon phase, what it makes you thing about or how it may help you focus.

Pricing Options

This course is available at three ticket prices. This tiered pricing model is designed to increase access for a wider range of students as well as to support our instructors. In addition to tiered tickets, we offer a limited number of no-pay spots for students who would not otherwise be able to take this course. No-pay spots are selected via a randomized drawing two weeks before each section begins. For more information and to apply for a no-pay spot, please click here. To learn more about our pricing model and randomized selection process for no-pay spots, please visit our FAQ page.

Community Guidelines for Students

Please take a moment to review our community guidelines for students, which aim to share our classroom ethos and help set the stage for the best possible learning experience.

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Atlas Obscura Courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.

Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive community-driven guide to incredible places across the planet and is now an award-winning company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to each class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access all sessions of your course via Zoom.

About Your Instructor
Rebecca Boyle
Rebecca Boyle

As a journalist, Rebecca Boyle has reported from particle accelerators, genetic sequencing labs, bat caves, the middle of a lake, the tops of mountains, and the retractable domes of some of Earth’s largest telescopes. Her first book, OUR MOON: How Earth’s Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us Who We Are (Random House, 2024) is a new history of humanity’s relationship with the Moon, which Rebecca has not yet visited on assignment.

Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., Rebecca is a contributing editor at Scientific American, a contributing writer at Quanta Magazine, and a columnist at Atlas Obscura. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, The Atlantic, Smithsonian Air & Space, New Scientist, and many other publications. Rebecca’s work has been anthologized multiple times in the Best American Science and Nature Writing series. Rebecca got her start at a small newspaper, but attending Space Camp in 6th grade is really what set the course of her career. Find Rebecca on Twitter and Bluesky @rboyle31 and @by.rebecca.boyle on Instagram.

What Else You Should Know

This lecture series is designed so students can participate live or watch a recording of each session, after it airs, at a time that is convenient for them. Sessions will take place live over Zoom, with dedicated Q&A segments for students to ask questions via video or chat. Within 72 hours after each session meets, students will receive access to a recording of the live session, which they can watch for up to two weeks after the course concludes.

Instructors may use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors may use this platform to post resources, discussion questions, or assignments. This platform also offers a space for students to connect with one another about course material between sessions.

We provide closed captioning for all of our courses and can share transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions, requests, or accessibility needs.

Dates and Availability

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