The first entry on the Lunar 100 is…the Moon! You might have seen it around. The Moon is nearly always visible at some time in any given 24 hour period apart from during the few days surrounding a new moon. At this time the Moon is too close to the Sun and gets lost in the Sun’s glare. The exception to this is during a total eclipse where the Moon alines between the Earth and the Sun so can be seen as a completely un-illuminated disk.
To discover when your next good chance to see the Moon will be check out a website such as Time and Date, or use one of the many astronomy apps out there to find out the phase of the Moon and what time it will rise and set. After new Moon and up until Full Moon the Moon will be around in the evening, so if you’re not a huge fan of staying up really late or getting up really early this might be a good time to try and see it. No binoculars or telescopes are required to see the Moon, although they will allow you to see more detail.
Here are some of our favourite Moon facts:
- The surface of the Moon reflects about as much light as worn tarmac.
- The Moon is moving further and further away from Earth, but only at about the same rate that fingernails grow (3.78cm a year).
- The Moon looks bigger when it is near the horizon. Nobody knows why but this trick of the brain is called the Moon illusion.
- The Moon is the biggest Moon in the solar system in relation to it’s planet. It’s the 5th largest Moon overall after Ganymede, Titan, Castillo and Io.
We’ll see you again soon for L2 – Earthshine