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Questions tagged [the-moon]

Questions regarding Earth's only natural satellite. For questions about the natural satellites of other planets, use the tag [natural-satellite].

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7
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1answer
509 views

Is the moon's orbit circularizing? Why does tidal heating circularize orbits?

The moon has an elliptical orbit (of course), but as it inches away from the Earth each year, does its orbit become more circular and how come? Io's orbit is becoming more circular due to tidal ...
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1answer
123 views

What causes the abundance of dust to 'float' in the thin lunar atmosphere?

Several missions to the Moon have revealed a lunar horizon glow, such as the ones seen below by the spacecraft Surveyor 7 in 1968: Image source: NASA According to the NASA article "Model Helps ...
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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 ...
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661 views

Official Definition of Satellite?

So I had an argument with a friend, which was about whether the Moon is a planet or a satellite. IAU 2006 Resolution B5 gives definitions on what it is to be a planet, but there is a vagueness, as I ...
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Was that actually a shooting star during the supermoon eclipse on September 27th 2015?

During the super-moon total lunar eclipse on September 27th a meteor-like streak passed very close within view of the event. It appeared to happen at the very middle, the maximum eclipse. [...
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718 views

If earth changed its orbit, what would happen to the moon?

Let there be an accelerating force acting on earth over an arbitrarily long time to change its orbit around the sun (e.g. by asteroids repeatedly passing by close to earth (intentional or not) or ...
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174 views

Meteorites bring water

The latest information suggests that Earth's water came from Meteorites . The Moon was also bombarded by Meteorites and yet it has no water. Is this because it lacks an atmosphere and its water was ...
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Why did the moon abruptly change positions in the sky?

Three or four weeks ago I was outside showing my neighbors how cool the moon was through a 'backyard' telescope in broad daylight (~8PM PDT). It was 3/4 of the way across the sky (setting behind the ...
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What is the angular diameter of Earth as seen from the Moon?

...today I must have left my brain home. I know it's a simple calculation but I keep failing simplest calculations today. What is the angular diameter of Earth as seen from the surface of the Moon?
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What color is earthshine?

What color is earthshine (e.g the average color of earth that shines on the moon)? I am making a solar system exploration game, and would like to know this for the lighting of my moon level at night, ...
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1answer
548 views

Why can we see stars but not astronaut on the moon

A question came up today in astronomy class and it got me wondering all night. How is it that if stars are so far away, we can see them so clearly but we cannot see astronauts on the moon.
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A curious relationship between lunar periods and the solar year

Earlier today I was exploring the astronomy features on WolframAlpha, when I stumbled upon an intriguing numerical relationship involving the values for the lunar synodic and sidereal months. Using ...
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Can a bullet be fired on the moon and sent it into orbit?

I know you need oxygen for the ignition, but presumably, if the bullet is impervious (or water-tight) and if there is a little air enclosed in the bullet case, wouldn't that be sufficient to fire it ? ...
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Can Earth host another natural satellite than the Moon?

Are there orbits with long-term stability (astronomical time scales) around Earth? Low altitude orbits will decay due to friction with Earth's atmosphere. Inside Earth's Roche limit, a Moon could not ...
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moonless night and lunar phase

How to define moonless night? There is no moon at all during some night? How to calculate and know whether the moon would appear during one night? If the lunar phase is full moon, is it possible ...
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1answer
308 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 ...
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1answer
186 views

Place on Moon that always lit?

Is there a place on Moon (sure it's near north or south pole) that is always lit by sun? It's to install solar panels if I will choose to make rancho there :) What diameter of Moon Polar circle? How ...
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370 views

Does the Sun impose back it's tidal forces onto the Earth (such as the Earth's to the Moon)?

It is known that each year the Moon is moving away from the Earth due to tidal forces. What about the Earth relative to the Sun?
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If a person were to die on the Moon or Mars, would the body decompose?

There wouldn't be enough oxygen for any bacteria to decompose the body, right? Not to mention, the radiation of space might kill off most organisms on it. So would it decompose, given millions of ...
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4k views

Is it possible to see a moonrise or moonset twice in a day?

I've been wondering this for quite some time. Due to the variations in tilt from the earth we know that moonrise/moonset times vary. Is it possible that in any location on the earth one might see ...
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223 views

Is the Moon not in hydrostatic equilibrium?

Given the recently-announced observations from VLT/SPHERE that 10 Hygiea may be sufficiently round to qualify as the second main-belt dwarf planet, I found myself perusing Wikipedia's Hydrostatic ...
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257 views

Red cresent moon

Yesterday night i witnessed something very strange when i looked outside the window. I saw the moon (crescent) but it was dull red and right on the horizon ,which is strange considering that it is ...
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228 views

Lunar phases if Earth was tidally locked to the Moon

I know that the Earth will never become tidally locked to the Moon, so this is purely hypothetical. If I understand correctly, in this hypothetical scenario an Earth day is now a lot longer at ...
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2answers
196 views

Are red moons possible without eclipses or smoke from fires?

This morning I was on the bus and as I looked out of the window I saw that the moon was larger than usual and red. I live in eastern Norway and it was about -20ºF / 30ºC outside. There's no forest ...
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What distance has the moon been from earth at the closest?

For every year, the moon is orbiting further away from earth. What distance has the moon been from earth at the closest?
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1answer
466 views

Could something temporarily break the Moon's tidal lock?

Would it be possible for something to cause the Moon to start rotating at a different rate, breaking its tidal lock with Earth, without ripping it apart? If so, would the Moon's tidal lock eventually ...
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1answer
122 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 ...
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1answer
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Computing orbit positions of Jovian Satellites / Moons using JPL data

I've been trying to build a model of the solar system in a game. Thus far I've succeeded in placing each of the planets in position using Keplerian elements and formulae from https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/...
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1answer
244 views

How much do starlight and artificial light illuminate the Moon?

The Moon receives most of its light from the Sun, either directly through sunlight or indirectly through Earthshine. However, there are many other dimmer sources of illumination. Starlight. This is ...
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How can Earth-Sun Lagrange points L1 & L2 even be semi stable considering the moon?

I know that the Earth-Sun Lagrange L1, L2, and L3 points are not considered stable over longer periods, especially when compared to L4 and L5... But, with the moon orbiting the Earth in the general ...
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1answer
200 views

What method is used to calculate the 'quality' of a solar/planetary image?

What sort of algorithm is used to calculate the relative quality of an image, such as is performed by PIPP, Registax, or Avistack? Such applications take planetary or solar images and prior to ...
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523 views

Is there any real chance of getting hit with a meteorite if we build a base on the moon?

I've been reading an article today on how the European Space Agency (ESA) has an interest in building a space village on the moon which will be 3D printed and assembled by robots. Eventually people ...
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1answer
99 views

What mechanism could have formed the Moon's Oceanus Procellarum rift-like gravity anomalies?

According to the NASA JPL web-report, Gravity Gradients Frame Oceanus Procellarum, a rift-like ring structure surrounding the Moon's Oceanus Procellarum has been detected as a gravity anomaly by the ...
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1answer
354 views

Why did the moon have a distinct reddish edge tonight?

In Monterey, California, with a "half-moon" high in the sky at about 9 pm (2017-08-30), the moon had a distinct red outline on the outer edge of the NE quadrant; for awhile I saw it also on the outer ...
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1answer
439 views

Is lunar elevation at a given location for a given day unimodal?

Is lunar elevation at a given location for a given day unimodal: Unimodal function In other words, once the moon's elevation reaches a minimum (which may be above or below the horizon depending on ...
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205 views

Questions about a fictional binary system, and habitability [closed]

Note: Questions are at the bottom. The rest had simply been written in a format to better organize my thoughts. The formulas used to construct this fictional solar system, had been borrowed from ...
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1answer
290 views

The most feasible hypothesis about Theia

The formation of the Moon had many hypothesis over the years, most of them involving a Mars-sized body called Theia, which presumably collided with the Earth. But even within the Theia hypothesis, is ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does the Moon never set in Svalbard, Norway?

I heard in a documentary that, in Svalbard (Spitsberg), Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, the Moon never sets. Why? A drawing would certainly help.
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Why don't stars move in the night-sky as the moon does?

I want to know why don't we see a change in the position of stars during the night while we do see a change in the position of the moon. I've checked other online sources and some answers say that it ...
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2answers
3k views

Why is it said that the far side of the moon's crust is thicker?

This video states that NASA has determined that the far side of the moon's crust is thicker than the near side's crust. How did they determine this? Please note I'm not asking for theories or ...
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5answers
237 views

Could there be life beneath the surface of Mars or moons?

I realize radiation and extreme temperatures would probably destroy life on the surface of most planets and moons, but could life exist beneath the surface (e.g. like earth worms on earth)?
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When did the Moon stop?

According to various theories the Moon was created around 4.5 billion years ago. About all of these theories suggest that it was rotating around its axis at that time though. Currently, Moon is at ...
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3answers
432 views

Does the Giant Impact Hypothesis explain how the Moon circularized its orbit?

I just read most of Wikipedia's article on the Giant Impact Hypothesis. Basically a large object impacts Earth and creates debris that soon coalesces into the Moon. But there is something I did not ...
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3answers
176 views

Could a moon orbit an Earth size planet in such a way as to create a solar eclipse lasting for several weeks from start to finish?

Is it theoretically possible for a moon to orbit a planet (let us say Earth size, mass and solar distance) in such a way as to create a planet-wide solar eclipse lasting several weeks? These are my ...
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1answer
284 views

Why is a meteorite impact on the moon visible as white light?

You can watch a video of a meteorite impacting the moon at the npr.org website. Why does the impact produce white light? I understand that the impact is like an explosion, but there is no air on ...
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2answers
74 views

Scientific possibility of stationary moons for a writer of fiction

I tried to do some research to find an answer for this question before posting this but didn't find anything that I could sink my teeth into. I was wondering: if it would be possible for a planet to ...
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1answer
180 views

Lunar orbit distance

Can anyone calculate the distance the moon travels in a single year? I can calculate it as it is close to 2.4 million km, but I need adjustments as the earth is moving and so is the Sun. So, I need ...
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3answers
1k views

Why do dark objects look white from a distance? (Moon, Ceres, but not Earth!)

What makes the Moon shine white in the sky, although it seems to be as dark as asphalt? Earth's average albedo is 3 and 4 times that of the Moon and Ceres respectively (0.37 vs 0.12 and 0.09). But ...
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1answer
436 views

Lunar Soil: what are those “bumps” and how were they formed?

I was watching a video of the chinese lunar landing and saw numerous bumps in the soil. What are they? Is there any theory that explains how they came into existence?
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1answer
907 views

How long until the Earth and Moon become a binary planet?

With the rate at which the moon is further receding into a higher orbit, how long until the barycentre between us and the moon leaves the earth, and going by the IAUs 2006 definition update, we become ...