*This text was written by a TecMundo columnist; finally learn more.

The moon is by far the brightest and largest object visible to the human eye in Earth’s night sky.

Different myths and legends have always and everywhere told the stories that we tried to make the Moon our own and special. The Japanese told stories of Princess Kaguya, who was exiled to Earth from the Moon. In later times, the Chinese told the story of the moon goddess named Chang’e. In ancient times, the Greeks also had the goddess Selene, who drove a beautiful moon chariot through the dark sky. The ancient Egyptians had a moon god instead of a goddess: Khonsu, the protector of the night travelers.

Moon also lit up adventures and starred in love stories and poems. But besides mythology and art, she taught humanity much, and scientific advancement benefited from her presence in the heavens.

4 facts we learn by considering its nature:

1. The world is round

In other words, the Earth is rounded in an ellipse with a circumference of about 40,000 kilometers. The shape, also called a flat spherical sphere, is formed due to the rotation of the planet, which causes a centrifugal effect on the mass distribution and causes the poles to flatten. And how can we know that just by looking at the moon?

Well, two different ways. The first is during a total lunar eclipse observation, where the Moon’s surface is partially obscured by the passage of Earth’s shadow, which exhibits its typical circular character. Using just the curvature of the Earth’s shadow on the Moon, we can reconstruct the Moon’s relative size with respect to the Earth’s shadow cone, geometrically reproduce the distance between the Earth and the Moon, and infer the spherical shape of the Earth.

The second way is to note the difference in the Moon’s orientation by an observer at different latitudes in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. For example, someone at the North Pole will see the Moon rotate 180 degrees relative to someone looking at the South Pole. Such a change in lunar perspective can only occur because it is observed from different points on a curved surface.

2. The lunar surface is not completely smooth

Tycho and Davius ​​craters on the lunar surface.

This information may seem obvious today, but in the past the celestial world was thought to consist of perfect and perfectly smooth spheres. Although this cannot be fully understood with the naked eye, even the simplest telescopes and binoculars reveal that the Moon’s surface is made up of numerous valleys, craters, and mountains.

By observing the projection of their shadows on the surface due to the arrival of the sun’s rays, it is possible to estimate their height and diameter. In addition, observing the physical properties of these structures makes it possible to reconstruct important parts in the formation and evolution of our natural satellite.

3. Earth’s reflection seen on the Moon

Earth's glow reflected from the dark side of the lunar surface is seen.

Every planet and every natural satellite in our Solar System can be measured by albedo: an indication of how much light the body reflects. We can think of this as a level of brightness: A brighter body will have a higher albedo, while a darker body will have a lower albedo.

On Earth, measuring albedo is particularly important because it can help track changes in our climate based on how much sunlight the Earth absorbs. The Moon is one of the natural factors that helps us measure this fundamental feature, so here’s how: in the crescent phase, it’s possible to see the rest of the Moon’s face, even more vaguely, sometimes vaguely.

This dimmer, darker portion of the lunar surface is actually illuminated by sunlight reflecting off the Earth – this is called an earth glow.

By measuring this brightness of the Moon, scientists can accurately estimate how much of our planet it reflects, and even make inferences about the composition of Earth’s atmosphere.

4. Earth’s atmosphere bends red light more than blue light

Moon over Parthenon, Greece.

In general, it appears to have a redder surface during moonrise (and moonset). This is because when viewed very close to the horizon, the light reflected from the Moon’s surface must pass the maximum amount of Earth’s atmosphere before it reaches our eyes.

While Earth’s atmosphere preferentially scatters blue light, it allows red light to pass more easily, resulting in a redder appearance near the horizon. This phenomenon also explains why the Moon is illuminated in reddish hues during a total lunar eclipse.

Nicolas Oliveiracolumnist for Technology WorldHe holds a degree in Physics and an MA in Astrophysics. He is a professor and currently doing his PhD working with galaxy clusters at the National Observatory. He has experience teaching Physics and Astronomy and researching Extragalactic Astrophysics and Cosmology. It acts as a popularizer and scientific communicator aimed at the dissemination and democratization of science. Available on social networks like Nicolas @nicooliveira_.

Source: Tec Mundo

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I'm Blaine Morgan, an experienced journalist and writer with over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. My expertise lies in writing about technology news and trends, covering everything from cutting-edge gadgets to emerging software developments. I've written for several leading publications including Gadget Onus where I am an author.


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