The brightest object within the night time sky, our Moon is an unmistakable sight.
Past its skyward movement and altering phases, naked-eye lunar observations yield super scientific data.
1.) The Earth is spherical.
Arctic versus Antarctic views are fully flipped, with latitudinal variations indicating Earth’s form.
Moreover, the Earth’s shadow throughout lunar eclipses reveals our planet’s spheroidal nature.
2.) The Moon’s orbit is elliptical, not round.
Adjustments within the Moon’s obvious measurement point out giant variations in its distance from Earth.
Moreover, greater than 50% of its face is seen over time, because it orbits Earth faster when nearer and slower when farther.
3.) How reflective is the Earth?
The unlit a part of the Moon is brightened by Earthshine: daylight mirrored from Earth.
Observing the sunshine from the unilluminated portion teaches us the reflectivity of Earth.
4.) Earth’s environment bends purple mild greater than blue.
Throughout moonset/moonrise, the Moon seems redder, as blue mild is scattered away.
That purple mild is bent, in the meantime, preferentially illuminating the Moon throughout lunar eclipses.
5.) The Moon has mountains, valleys, and excessive crater partitions.
Throughout photo voltaic eclipses, Baily’s beads reveal the lunar topography.
The lunar shadow’s irregular form on Earth, throughout whole eclipses, reveals the heights of crater partitions.
Largely Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in photos, visuals, and not more than 200 phrases. Speak much less; smile extra.