Moon is the most devastating secret dignitary of the night sky. Who doesn’t like to lie on the soft grass and gaze at the dazzling moon with unblinking eyes? We all love to see this captivating and enchanting commodity in dark, yet we are unaware of its true saga. We are ignorant of lots of secrets of the moon which are known, yet unknown to the layman.
So, here are the 7 most amazing and strange facts about the dazzling moon, which every moon lover should know.
1. Special Moons
Some of you might have seen the blood-red moon in the sky on 20th Jan 2019. It was a trending topic of discussion. A “blood moon” happens when Earth’s moon is in a total lunar eclipse and the red-brown color in which the moon appears is because of the reflection of red light onto the moon’s surface from edges of the Earth’s atmosphere. That’s why it is given the name blood moon despite having no special astronomical significance.
Super moon is another nickname scientists have given to the moon. However, during super moon, moon appears larger than usual and it is at the closest point to the earth in its orbit.
Does this mean the moon will turn blue on that day??? Now, this is merely a term used to define that special full moon occurring every once in two and a half years. Same as the idiom appearing out of blue. The fact is the moon actually takes 29.5 days to complete its phases. That means it takes 364 days to complete 12 full cycles. This leaves extra 1 or 2 days every year. Due to this reason, after every 2.5 years, a 13th full moon is seen which is referred to as a blue moon.
Though the moon has many nicknames like wolf moon, pink moon, snow moon, flower moon, etc. according to months in which they are seen, the above three names are famous. These traditional names are given in Farmers’ Almanac.
2. Running Away From The Earth
As we all know the moon is 280000 miles away from earth. But scientists have found that every year, it is running away or more precisely drifting away from earth by roughly 3.8 cm. this happens because the moon takes some energy from earth rotational energy and uses it to repel itself from the earth. According to studies, this will continue to happen for 50 billion years. And at that stage, it will take 47 days to revolve around the earth, compared to current timing.
3. Pulling The Ocean And Rocks
Seeing tides while sitting on the beach is fascinating, isn’t it? And many of you would know that these tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon with a smaller effect from the sun. This gravitational pull exerted by the moon results in 2 bulges, one towards the pull and the other away from the pull, making the tidal wave as strong as the pull is. However, a wave’s movement depends on the earth’s rotation.
Not only that, but the moon is responsible for the rising and fall of roc tide too, the same as that of water. However, the effect is not as strong as water but nevertheless, noticeable and measurable with the surface of earthmoving by several centimeters.
Earth’s gravitational pull can too cause effects on the moon’s surface. Famous of which is MOON-QUAKE. Though being weaker than earthquakes, moon-quakes can last for half an hour. Sometimes, they cause small cracks to appear on the surface, causing the gas to escape. Scientists even think that moon has a hot core just like earth. In 1999, data from NASA’s Lunar Prospector spacecraft showed that the moon’s core is small — probably between 2 percent and 4 percent of its mass that is very tiny as compared to earth’s core.
5. Earth From The Moon
Earth, when seen from the moon, also goes through the same phases as the moon goes when seen from earth. Not only is that but eclipses also reverse when seen from the moon.
6. Less Weight On Moon
Every one of you must have heard the line “if you weigh 100 kg on earth, then you are not fat. You are just on the wrong planet.” This implies on the moon’s surface very well as on the moon, a person would weigh about one-sixth of his weight on Earth. This is because of its weaker gravity than Earth, due to its smaller mass. Due to this reason, the lunar astronauts could leap and bounce so high in the air.
7. Resemblance To Earth
Moon has three layers too (from outer to inner) just like earth: mantle, crust, core, which means that the Moon is formed like a planet forms. Though it is not called a planet, it also has evolving rock surfaces that are constantly changing. Not only that but it has the active volcanoes that produced lava, the same as Earth.