The Magical Moon

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Total eclipse of the moon on October 8th

The October 2014 full moon passes directly through Earth’s dark (umbral) shadow. The total part of the October 8 eclipse lasts nearly 1 hour. A partial umbral eclipse precedes totality by about one hour and 10 minutes, and follows totality by about the same period of time, so the moon takes about 3 and 1/3 hours to completely sweep through the Earth’s dark shadow. This full moon is commonly called the Hunter’s Moon which is the name given to the first full moon after the Harvest Moon, which occurred in September.

North and South America, the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand, Australia and eastern Asia are in a good position worldwide to watch the total eclipse of the moon on October 8. If you live in the Americas or Hawaii, the total eclipse happens before sunrise October 8.

Here are some fun facts about the Moon:

The dark side of the moon is a myth:
In reality both sides of the Moon see the same amount of sunlight however only one face 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.

The rise and fall of the tides on Earth is caused by the Moon:
There are two bulges in the Earth due to the gravitational pull that the Moon exerts; one on the side facing the Moon, and the other on the opposite side that faces away from the Moon, The bulges move around the oceans as the Earth rotates, causing high and low tides around the globe.

The Moon is drifting away from the Earth:
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 be taking around 47 days to orbit the Earth instead of the current 27.3 days.

A person would weigh much less on the Moon:
The Moon has much weaker gravity than Earth, due to its smaller mass, so you would weigh about one sixth (16.5%) of your weight on Earth. This is why the lunar astronauts could leap and bound so high in the air.

The Moon has only been walked on by 12 people; all American males:
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 the Moon in 1972 was Gene Cernan on the Apollo 17 mission. Since then the Moon has only be visited by unmanned vehicles.

The Moon has no atmosphere:
This means that the surface of the Moon is unprotected from cosmic rays, meteorites and solar winds, and has huge temperature variations. The lack of atmosphere means no sound can be heard on the Moon, and the sky always appears black.

The Moon has quakes:
These are caused by the gravitational pull of the Earth. Lunar astronauts used seismographs on their visits to the Moon, and found that small moonquakes occurred several kilometers beneath the surface, causing ruptures and cracks. Scientists think the Moon has a molten core, just like Earth.

The first spacecraft to reach the Moon was Luna 1 in 1959:
This was a Soviet craft, which was launched from the USSR. It passed within 5995 km of the surface of the Moon before going into orbit around the sun.

The Moon is the fifth largest natural satellite in the Solar System:
At 3,475 km in diameter, the Moon is much smaller than the major moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Earth is about 80 times the volume than the Moon, but both are about the same age. A prevailing theory is that the Moon was once part of the Earth, and was formed from a chunk that broke away due to a huge object colliding with Earth when it was relatively young.

The Moon will be visited by man in the near future:
NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon to set up a permanent space station. Mankind may once again walk on the moon in 2019, if all goes according to plan.

During the 1950’s the USA considered detonating a nuclear bomb on the Moon:
The secret project was during the height cold war was known as “A Study of Lunar Research Flights” or “Project A119″ and meant as a show of strength at a time they were lagging behind in the space race.

Looking for a perfect gift?

Here is the perfect gift for someone who loves everything about the moon – Our Lunar Mova Globe. This globe is available in either 4.5 inches or 6 inches in diameter and features a beautifully detailed lunar surface. Not only a stunning piece of art but as you take it out of the box you understand that it is not your typical globe. As the ambient light in the room shines on the globe you will begin to notice that it actually spins! Right in your hand or on the desk or anywhere there is light. There are no batteries or cords to plug in – this globe will silently spin as long as there is even a small amount of light in the room. Check out the whole collection at www.lifehearthome.com



Lunar Globe

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