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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Astronomy Lecture: Moon and Earth.

We like to investigate the planets, the Sun and other stars. Our nature is curious to observe and classify them. We always look back to planets and their physical nature, observe the Moon and Earth which can be considered as two planets if we look at the Moon as a planet smaller than Earth. We analyze why the two bodies are one a lifeless cold stone and one warm and fruitful, full of creatures.
So far humanity has managed to reach only the Moon, because other planets are more distant to send humans there, because it should be a more dangerous journey.
Moon and Earth were formed at the same time 4.5 billion years ago. Both bodies have similar chemical characteristics.

The moon is in Earth orbit due to neutral gravitational attraction between them because both have gravity and the combination of the two makes the Moon remain in Earth orbit. It would not be fair to say that the Moon revolves around the Earth, because actually both revolve around each other.
The moon exerts a gravitational force on the Earth and this is seen in the phenomenon of ocean tides, but it is nothing compared to more serious gravitational force it exerts the Earth on the Moon, which blocks the Moon with the same face toward us. Our planet has such a force because it is very large compared to the Moon. This phenomenon is not unique, and can be seen at Jupiter or Pluto's satellites.

Earth is geologically very active, we have tall mountains and low levels as oceans plateaus, we have earthquakes, and as we dig deep in the planet's crust, it becomes warmer because of the lava and the living core of the Earth. In contrast to this, if you see the moon through a telescope you'll see a dead surface without too much differences in elevation, has no atmosphere at all, no clouds, almost no water because a body is extremely dry. Compared to Earth, Moon is known for its craters, nearly entirely covered by them.

Moon areas are divided into two categories. One is the highlands which is totally covered with craters of all kinds, large and small, joined or overlapping, others weathered or very old craters called ghost craters because are barely distinguishable. The second category are those large spots on the Moon seen with the naked eye from Earth. And these are also craters, but they are transformed into enormous basins filled with lava created after severe impacts. This hardened basaltic lava is darker and is called "mare", or seas.

So the Moon is full of impact craters, but why the Earth is not?
This is because of certain factors, because here we have atmosphere and wind, water erodes everything, we have volcanism, continental shifts (it is true now that South America was bonded to Africa forming one continent). All this led to the disappearance of these craters on the face of the Earth. There are still hundreds of craters that have been recognized as impact craters, as that which formed the Yukatan peninsula which had a huge role in changing our climate.

Our planet is alive because of the magnetic field that surrounds it. But why has not the Moon the magnetic field?
Earth have a magnetic field because in its center is a molten iron liquid that is rotating . Due to this continuous spin, it creates an electric magnetic field. Iron is conductor of electricity and generates Earth's magnetic field. In the case of Moon, however, it is so small and the core has solidified. Even if there was a small core, it does not rotate and therefore the Moon is a body magnetically inactive.

Magnitude: -12.02
Phase: 0.92
Distance: 401.133 km
Illuminated: 92.1% (0% = New, 100% = Full)

Astronomical instrument: Celestron C8-Newtonian telescope,
Eyepiece: Plossl 20mm, 2x Barlow
Mount: CG5 (EQ5) 

Camera: Sony CX130
Filter: no
Date: 07/11/2011
Location: Baia Mare, Romania
Processing: FastStone Image Viewer


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