How many moons does it take to brighten up the sky?
BROWNSVILLE (NEWS CENTER 23) — Lately I have been seeing some really amazing pictures of the moon in Facebook and with this gorgeous weather, I was able to sit outside in my front yard and just gaze up to look at the millions of lights twinkling down and the big bright diamond in the sky.
For today's Weather Talk, I'd like to share some pretty interesting facts about the moon in homage to the great weather we have been having these past couple of nights.
To start off, we are in the last quarter of the phase of the moon.
This simply means one-half of the Moon appears to be illuminated by direct sunlight. The fraction of the Moon's disk that is illuminated is decreasing.
The date for the new moon is March 1st at 1:02 a.m.
The new moon simply means the the Moon's un-illuminated side is facing the Earth.
At this point the Moon is not visible (except during a solar eclipse).
Fun Fact: In reality both sides of the Moon see the same amount of Sun.
However, only one side of the Moon is ever seen from Earth.
This is because the Moon rotates around on its own axis in exactly the same time it takes to orbit the Earth, meaning the same side is always facing the Earth.
The side we see is lit by reflected sunlight, while the side facing away from Earth lies in darkness and has only been seen by the human eye from a spacecraft!
Did you know? The Moon is moving approximately 3.8 cm away from our planet every year!
It is estimated that it will continue to do so for around 50 billion years.
By the time that happens, the Moon will take about 47 days to revolve around the Earth instead of the current 27.3 days.
If you aren't happy with your weight, plan a trip to the moon!!
The Moon has much weaker gravity than Earth, due to its smaller mass.
So you would weigh about one sixth of your weight on Earth!
This is why the lunar astronauts could leap and bound so high in the air!
Not a lot of people have visited the moon. As a matter in fact, only 12 Americans have ever set foot on it!
The first man to set foot on the Moon in 1969 was Neil Armstrong on the Apollo 11 mission, while the last man to walk on it was Gene Cernan on the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
Since then unmanned vehicles have landed on the moon.
But if everything goes well, there are plans that NASA could be brewing up to send more people to the moon in 2019.
Similar to Earth, the moon as moon quakes as well!
These are caused by the gravitational pull of the Earth.
Lunar astronauts used seismographs on their visits to the Moon, and found that small quakes occurred several miles beneath the surface, creating ruptures and cracks.
Scientists think the Moon could have a molten core just like Earth.
Ever wonder why the moon doesn't shine as bright as the sun?
The full moon shines with a magnitude of -12.7, but the sun is 14 magnitudes brighter, at -26.7.
The ratio of brightness of the sun versus the moon amounts to a difference of 398,110 to 1.
You would need about 400 thousand moons to equal the brightness of the sun! I don't think you could ever fit that many on one planet!
I know this is common sense, but have you ever stopped to think that the Earth goes through phases just like the moon?
However, they are opposite to the lunar phases we see from the Earth.
It's a full Earth when it's new moon for us; last-quarter Earth when we're seeing a first-quarter moon; and so forth.
Lastly, the temperature on the moon varies quite a bit, and from all the research I have done, there are some contradiction information. But here is the best website I was able to find that would give me an idea of how hot and cold the moon can be. (http://www.space.com/11162-10-surprising-moon-facts-full-moons.html )
The temperature at the lunar equator ranges from an extremely low minus 280 degrees F at night to a very high 260 degrees F in the daytime! Who would have guessed!
There are other fun facts on the website above if you want to keep on reading!