Questions tagged [the-moon]

Questions regarding Earth's only natural satellite.

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61
votes
6answers
8k views

Why is only one side of the Moon visible from Earth?

Why do we only ever see the same side of the moon? If this is to do with gravity are there any variables which mean we might one day see more than we have before?
17
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2answers
3k views

Why is the Moon receding from the Earth due to tides? Is this typical for other moons?

After reading the Q&A Is the moon moving further away from Earth and closer to the Sun? Why? about the tides transferring energy to the Moon and pushing it from Earth, I have a question: How is ...
20
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1answer
12k views

Is the moon moving further away from Earth and closer to the Sun? Why?

According to The NASA Moon Facts page: The moon is actually moving away from earth at a rate of 1.5 inches per year. Why is the moon moving further away from the Earth? Is this a result of the ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Will the Earth ever be tidally locked to the Moon?

From my basic understating, Momentum is being transfered from the Earth's rotation to the Moon's orbit by tidal friction. The Earth's rotation slows down and the Moon receedes from the Earth as it ...
18
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4answers
2k views

Is it a coincidence that both the sun and moon look of same size from earth?

The sun is huge when compared to moon. Despite the huge difference in their size and distance from earth, Is it purely coincidental that they both look almost the same from earth?
9
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3answers
646 views

Red Moon a Characteristic of all Total Lunar Eclipses?

I understand that the redness of the moon during the total lunar eclipse last night/this morning (April 14-15 2014) is a reflection of the red light caused in earth's atmosphere due to Rayleigh ...
34
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2answers
6k views

Why doesn't the moon twinkle?

Stars twinkle because their light has to squeeze through several different layers of the Earth's atmosphere. So why doesn't the moon twinkle as well?
13
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3answers
7k views

How can I calculate moon phase and height?

How could I know what phase the moon is in when it's high in the sky during sunrise? How could I tell in general what its height in the sky will be at any given time?
22
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2answers
3k views

Can you see man-made lights on the dark side of the Earth from the surface of the moon with the naked eye?

This question is prompted from a comment on this answer: Could a person on the surface of the moon see man-made lights on the dark side of the Earth with the naked eye? If not, how much magnification ...
4
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1answer
126 views

How much of the sun needs to be blocked in order to see a noticeable drop in brightness

I live in NYC and just experienced the eclipse. What fascinated me the most was that despite the fact that the sun was about 70% blocked, the area was not noticeably dimmer. If the news wasn't saying ...
6
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1answer
212 views

How does the Moon move in the “night” sky as seen from the poles?

A photo in the NYTimes article Ice Surveys and Neckties at Dinner: Here’s Life at an Arctic Outpost has got me thinking. During the winter months at either the north or south pole, when it is ...
10
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6answers
13k views

Why doesn't the sun pull the moon away from earth?

If the suns gravitational pull is strong enough to hold much larger masses in place (all the planets) and at much greater distances (all planets further away from the sun then earth) why does it not ...
7
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2answers
4k views

Where exactly does the Moon flip, given that it appears the other way up in the other hemisphere?

I've read in multiple sources that the Moon appears the other way up in Northern Hemisphere vs Southern Hemisphere. Here is one that explains why: Does the Moon look different in the northern and ...
14
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1answer
938 views

Why does the moon sometimes appear giant and a orange red color near the horizon?

I've read various ideas about why the moon looks larger on the horizon. The most reasonable one in my opinion is that it is due to how our brain calculates (perceives) distance, with objects high ...
63
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4answers
8k views

How does the Earth move in the sky as seen from the Moon?

I just want to be sure I am visualizing this correctly, because it seems odd. The Moon is tidally locked to the Earth but there are wobbles to its motion due to libration. So from a point on the ...
14
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4answers
595 views

Why do Earth and moon move apart but binary black holes move closer?

According to the accepted answer on Is the moon moving further away from Earth and closer to the Sun? Why?, the moon is receding from Earth because tidal forces and friction cause energy to be lost. ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Why can I see the whole moon during various non-full-moon phases?

Here's an image that describes the phenomenon I'm asking about. The very thin sliver to the left is of course the surface of the moon as lighted by the sun. But the rest of the moon is also faintly ...
17
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1answer
877 views

Why does the Moon stablize Earth's axis?

In an academic study titled 'The Moon and the Origin of Life on Earth' it is said that 'If the Moon did not exist, the orientation of the Earth’s axis would not be stable, and would be subject to ...
11
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3answers
5k views

How does moonrise/moonset azimuth vary with time?

In my tenacious attempts to observe moonrise (surprisingly difficult in a poor weather heavily urbanized hilly area with frequent bad smog, with busy work schedule and a bicycle) I was frequently ...
9
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4answers
6k views

Is the moon “perfectly” tidally locked and, if not, how long would it take us to observe it's rotation?

I have a general understanding of how and why a body in space can be tidally locked to it's planet or sun and I'm aware that our moon is in such a state. My question is, if our moon once had a ...
7
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4answers
371 views

Is there any residual oscillation left from the Moon rotation?

The Moon is tidally locked to Earth - a long time ago it was spinning, but after a time, the spin stopped - two factors stabilizing it: unequal mass distribution creating an equilibrium position where ...
4
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2answers
1k views

lunar calendar accuracy for predicting new moons

I wonder, how accurate the lunar calendar is? Can we predict the new moons precisely for tens of years in future? If we know all factors that affects the movement of the moon, then why it is not ...
2
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2answers
445 views

why hasn't Nasa gone back to our Moon? [closed]

why has not Nasa gone back to our Moon since the first landing on the moon
11
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2answers
2k views

Why are most lunar maria on the visible side?

Is there any reason why the Earth side of the Moon has enormous plains and mountains, while the far side contains just few small ones inside largest craters?
11
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2answers
13k views

Why can we sometimes see the moon during the day?

At some points in the year, the moon at my location can be clearly visible during the day. Why is this? If it is any help, I live in Alberta, Canada.
8
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1answer
243 views

How to find Exomoons?

How would we be able to detect Exomoons? We detect exoplanets by seeing if the light gets faint from a star, but could we really use the same method for determining if there is an exomoon around that ...
5
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1answer
164 views

When will the last total solar eclipse occur?

Because the moon distance from earth grows, how long will it take, that it is no longer possible to see a total eclipse but only circular eclipses? And does it make a difference if you are on the ...
3
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1answer
301 views

How can the next supermoon be analytically predicted?

The lunar motion can be predicted with basic celestial mechanics, but the perigee and apogee are not always the same, basically because the attraction of the Sun makes some oscilations in the semi-...
3
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1answer
1k views

Why does the moon not leave its orbit around the earth due to the gravitational force from the sun? [duplicate]

See additional information below added after the answer to the question. When the moon is between the earth and the sun, the gravitational force on the moon from the sun is greater than the ...
3
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3answers
588 views

The RA and Dec of lunar poles

The moon faces the earth with one fixed side. However there is a small vibration. So I am not sure the south and north poles of the moon is fixed. Even if they are fixed points on the moon, the pole ...
3
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2answers
647 views

Could an asteroid knock the moon out of its orbit?

As describe in this CNN article, an asteroid is going to pass near the Earth on Halloween. The article says that As it misses Earth by about 300,000 miles (slightly farther away than the moon), ...
1
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1answer
279 views

What makes the moon, a super moon

Caught a sight of moon tonight (by chance) and came in surprise that moon looks thrice in size to its usual size. Mostly called as Blue moon. Didn't succeed in getting the details and explanations ...
65
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4answers
9k views

Is the moon only 60 pixels?

In doing research on vision, I have learned that "20/20" vision corresponds to a visual acuity of being able to resolve details 1 arcminute in size, that most people have around 20/15 vision, and that ...
37
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2answers
11k views

Is it possible to achieve a stable “lunarstationary” orbit around the moon?

Is there a stable geostationary orbit around the moon? My feeling is, that the orbit would collide with earth, because of the moon's slow rotation.
21
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2answers
4k views

Can the Moon eclipse Venus?

The title basically says it all. As seen from the Earth, is it possible for the Moon to eclipse Venus (or any other planet) or are the orbits inclined such that this never happens? If such an eclipse ...
29
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4answers
3k views

Why does the Moon appear gray when passing between the Sun and the Earth?

Shouldn't the Moon appear as bright as a full Moon seen at midnight from Earth? The photo was taken by DSCOVR at Lagrange point 1. In the picture, The Moon appears dark gray. Of course the Earth ...
20
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6answers
7k views

Puzzling quotes from astronauts about earth size

I have no doubt that we have been to the moon. This question has nothing to do with a moon landing hoax. But, there are two quotes from two different astronauts regarding the size of the earth as ...
9
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1answer
7k views

From which country or area is the new moon visible first?

Being able to see the Moon is dependant on various factors like sunset timing etc. Considering all these factors, which country or area of the world sees the new moon first? I am asking about the new ...
9
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3answers
3k views

How well would the Moon protect the Earth from an Asteroid?

Would the Earth fare better if the Moon blocked the meteor, comet, rogue planet, or otherwise rather than a direct impact? At what point would the Moon's debris would be an extinction event? The ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Is it possible for a person to not see the new moon at different places on earth?

It is known that theoretically we see the same moon phase everywhere on the earth, but practically I see that people are unable to observe the 0.8% waxing crescent at different places on earth. This ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Can I measure the moon's gravity?

Since I learned about Newton's gravity law, I wonder if I can measure the moon's gravity using (almost) no special equipment. The best I could come up with is a pendulum, which is in a resting ...
6
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1answer
63 views

Planets positions (azimuth, altitude) API

I'm looking for a simple API that will allow me to get positions of planets and the moon for a given date, location and time. Does anyone know an API like that? Any suggestions or alternatives would ...
3
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1answer
4k views

How many meteors hit the moon every day or in how many days does a new meteor hit the moon?

What is the frequency of meteor strikes on the moon per day?
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1answer
350 views

What are the Gamma rays and Cosmic rays effects on humans and equipments? [closed]

First of all not to consider me a conspiracy theorist, but isn't landing on the moon a questionable issue? I am really not an expert in astronomy but let's assume that a moon landing has happened. 1- ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Do other planets in our solar system experience eclipses or is this unique to Earth?

Here on Earth we get to experience lunar and solar eclipses. Is this pure coincidence that everything happens to line up? Do other planets in the solar system experience this phenomenon or is this ...
4
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2answers
141 views

Non-Newtonian motion of the moon

I watched an interesting excerpt from a BBC show on the work of the McDonald Observatory in its laser measurements of the distance to the moon which are apparently accurate to within a few centimeters....
4
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1answer
610 views

How Soon Could a Waxing Crescent Moon Be Seen?

Question: Apart from a Solar Eclipse, How much time is needed until a Waxing Crescent Moon be seen following a New Moon? Would the time of year be significant? The Vernal Equinox + 1 Month. Could ...
3
votes
1answer
242 views

Can the Moon provide momentum to an object in Earth's orbit? Gravity Assisted Boost [closed]

Can a satellite maintain an equatorial orbit around Earth near the Moon's orbit to receive partial gravitational boosts by gaining momentum as the satellite passes though the Moon's gravity well? I'...
0
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0answers
34 views

What should be the seperation between sun and moon during a solar and lunar eclipse as viewed from earth?

I saw this code online where a guy calculates the separation between sun and moon and verify the occurrence of eclipses. You can find the codes here. Why does he uses earth's angular size seen from ...
15
votes
2answers
17k views

Does the Moon have any oxygen in its atmosphere?

Since the moon has gravity, it's almost impossible that there aren't some gasses trapped on the surface by the moon's gravity. Has any free-floating oxygen been found on the Moon? If so, in what ...