Observing the Moon

TheMoonAs there is smoke in the air from back burning occouring north of Sydney, Universe Watch will today look at the Moon as it is now back in our night Sky and it is also the brightest object visible in the night sky.

One question people ask is where did the Moon come from? Well this is what most scientists believe.

Four billion years ago a planet sized object orbits around a newly born sun but it’s path takes it into the path of a newly developing Earth which at that stage was only half it’s current size. The object doesn’t hit the Earth full on, but instead gives it a glancing blow. The impact starts the Earth spinning on it’s axis and pieces of it’s outer surface are hurled into space where they meet up with fragments from the object that just hit it.  And thus the moon was formed as these objects slowly formed together as they orbited the Earth.
At that early stage, the Moon was less than 22000 kilometres away and would have been a huge object in the sky to look at. But the moon is slowly moving further away from us, about 4 cm a year, so at the present it is more than 450,000 kilometres away.
It is believed that the Moon has a hot core of partially molten material and small moonquakes occour which cause fissures to appear on the surface causing gases to escape. So the Moon is not as dead as it appears to be.

Four billion years ago a planet sized object orbits around a newly born sun but it’s path takes it into the path of a newly developing Earth which at that stage was only half it’s current size and was still building up it’s mass. The object doesn’t hit the Earth full on, but instead gives it a glancing blow. The impact starts the Earth spinning on it’s axis for the first time and pieces of it’s outer surface are hurled into space where they meet up with fragments from the object that just hit it.  These objects slowly formed together as they orbited the Earth and eventually formed the Moon over time.

At that early stage, the Moon was less than 22,000 kilometres away and would have been a huge object in the sky to look at. But the Moon has been slowly moving further away from us, about 4 cm a year, so at the present it is more than 450,000 kilometres away.

It is believed that the Moon has a hot core of partially molten material and small moonquakes occour which cause fissures to appear on the surface causing gases to escape. So the Moon is not as dead as it appears to be when you look at it through a telescope.

The Moon is a popular observation target for amateur astronomers as there is always something different to look at . If sky conditions are not great for looking at planets, star clusters or nebula, but you see the moon is up…. you can always spend some time exploring the lunar surface.

There were plans for NASA to send man back to the moon by 2020….. and a rocket is actually sitting on the launch pad ready to begin first stages of preparing to send man back to the moon…… but i have heard that the White House has told NASA in the last 24 hours that they should be using different rockets and a different target. UInstead of going to the moon, the White House believes NASA should instead go and land an astronaut on  an asteroid or one of the moons of Mars.

Sadly this is indeed a big blow for NASA.

Don’t forget to check Universe Watch for it’s section on the Moon today.

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~ by sydneystargazers on October 24, 2009.

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