Closest New Moon in 1337 years today, but it will be invisible; blame it on THIS | Tech News

Closest New Moon in 1337 years today, but it will be invisible; blame it on THIS

Saturday, January 21, 2023, is the New Moon day. The most significant part is that the new moon will be at its closest distance to planet Earth for in 1337 years. However, the so-called supermoon will remain invisible today. Here's why.

| Updated on: Jan 21 2023, 14:16 IST
How well do you know Earth's Moon? How did it form, rotation, its orbit? Get up close and familiar- 5 points
1/5 How did the Moon form? According to the information provided by NASA, the leading theory behind the formation of the Moon is that a Mars-sized object collided with Earth billions of years ago, and debris from this collision eventually formed the Moon. (NASA)
2/5 Moon's rotation: The time it takes for the Moon to rotate once on its axis is equal to the time it takes for the Moon to orbit once around Earth. This keeps the same side of the Moon facing towards Earth throughout the month. (NASA)
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3/5 Moon orbit Earth: According to NASA, the Moon takes about one month to orbit Earth (27.3 days to complete a revolution, but 29.5 days to change from New Moon to New Moon). As the Moon completes each 27.3-day orbit around Earth, both Earth and the Moon are moving around the Sun. Because of this change in position, sunlight appears to hit the Moon at a slightly different angle on day 27 than it does on day zero ― even though the Moon itself has already traveled all the way around Earth. It takes a little more than two additional days for sunlight to hit the Moon in the same way it did on day zero. This is why it takes 29.5 days to get from new moon to new moon, even though it doesn’t take quite that long for the Moon itself to travel once around Earth. (NASA)
4/5 Does the Moon have gravity? What would happen if there was no Moon? The Moon does have gravity. Because the Moon has less mass than Earth, its gravitational pull is weaker (about one-sixth of Earth’s). On the Moon, you will be able to jump about six times as high as you can on Earth ― but you would still come back down, informs NASA. Also, If there would be no Moon, Earth would be a very different world. The Moon’s gravity keeps our planet from wobbling on its axis too much, which helps to stabilize our climate. The Moon also plays an important role in creating tides in Earth’s oceans. (NASA)
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5/5 Who Has Walked on the Moon? Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin were the first of 12 human beings to walk on the Moon. Four of America's moonwalkers are still alive: Aldrin (Apollo 11), David Scott (Apollo 15), Charles Duke (Apollo 16), and Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17). In all, 24 American astronauts made the trip from Earth to the Moon between 1968 and 1972. Three astronauts made the journey from Earth to the Moon twice: James Lovell (Apollo 8 and Apollo 13), John Young (Apollo 10 and Apollo 16), and Gene Cernan (Apollo 10 and Apollo 17). (NASA)
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Know why the supermoon will remain invisible today. (REUTERS)

Do you love gazing at the sky at night? Stars and moon make the night sky look beautiful. Saturday, January 21, 2023, is a New Moon day. Also, this new moon happens to be at its closest distance to planet Earth for the last 1337 years. "According to our calculations, on January 21, 2023, the new moon will be at its closest distance to Earth for the last 992 years. The next time the new moon is this close to Earth will be 345 years from now, making this the closest new moon in 1,337 years," a report by EarthSky stated. However, you will not be able to see the moon in the sky today. Want to know why? This weekend, the moon will be rising and will set with the sun and its shaded side will be facing planet Earth during the day, hence making the moon invisible, according to a report by CNET.

Notably, the moon is not always the same distance away from Earth. The orbit is not a perfect circle. When the moon is the farthest away, it is 252088 miles away. That is almost 32 Earths. When it is closest, the moon is 225623 miles away. That is between 28 and 29 Earths. The moon is an average of 238855 miles (384,400 km) away, according to NASA. The space research organisation has also stated that the moon is slowly moving away from Earth, getting about an inch farther away each year.

It can also be known that a new moon happens when the moon is lined up between the Earth and the Sun. We see the side of the Moon that is not being lit by the Sun (in other words, we see no Moon at all, because the brightness of the Sun outshines the dim Moon!) When the Moon is exactly lined up with the Sun (as viewed from Earth), we experience an eclipse.

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According to Astronomical Applications Department, the new moon of January will occur at 20:53 (Universal Time) on Saturday (January 21). Today's new moon also coincides with a supermoon.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with the Moon's closest approach to Earth in its elliptical orbit, a point known as perigee. During every 27-day orbit around Earth, the Moon reaches both its perigee, about 226,000 miles (363,300 km) from Earth, and its farthest point, or apogee, about 251,000 miles (405,500 km) from Earth.

Supermoon isn't an official astronomical term, but typically it's used to describe a full Moon that comes within at least 90 percent of perigee. Also, supermoons only happen three to four times a year, and always appear consecutively. Throughout most of Earth's orbit around the sun, perigee and the full moon do not overlap.

It might be hard to detect a supermoon visually, but it does have an effect on Earth. Because the Moon is in its closest approach to Earth, it can cause higher tides than usual.

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First Published Date: 21 Jan, 14:15 IST