This past November, we learned about the Moon’s orbit. This month, we will learn more about the Moon itself!
Did you know that both the size and the distance of the Moon were already known to ancient astronomers over two thousand years ago? Why are there “seas” on the Moon when we think that it has no liquid water? Why is the “far side” of the Moon so different from the “near side?” And what about the “dark side” of the Moon? (They’re not the same.) What kind of details should you be able to see on the Moon without a telescope, and how and when should you look? Are you aware that numerous countries (not just the USA) have sent space missions to the Moon? Are you able to find the “Winter Hexagon” and all its parts (like Orion, Gemini, and Taurus) in the sky? Have you heard that January offers the best opportunity to see the planet Mercury since the spring of last year? Join us on Wednesday, January 13 @ 7:00 pm EST via Zoom to learn more!
Families with school-age and older children are invited to join us virtually for a presentation focused on our wonderful Moon. Last November, we described a number of interesting things that we can learn about the Moon’s orbit just by watching what it does over time, even without a telescope. This month, we will learn more about the Moon itself. We will show how both the size of the Moon, and how far away it is, were first measured thousands of years ago, without any telescopes! We will also show what details you can see on the Moon with your unaided eye and a simple pair of binoculars. We will describe what scientists have learned through telescopic observations and images taken by spacecraft. Finally, we will end with a summary of the most recent missions to the Moon.
As always, we will show you how to find the planets and other cool things in the sky this month and into February. Have you noticed that Jupiter has just passed Saturn in the sky, and Mercury has passed by both of them? Have you seen Mars in the south or brilliant Venus lighting up the morning sky? Are you able to use the Winter Hexagon to unlock the winter sky? We will help you see all of these things for yourself.
Photo credit: https://skyandtelescope.org/press-releases/blue-moon-for-halloween/
Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services, and activities. Accommodation for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting (517) 432-4499 by Wednesday, January 6, 2021. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.