NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 6 January 2023: Moon avatars-Pink Moon, Blood Moon, Wolf Moon | Tech News

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 6 January 2023: Moon avatars-Pink Moon, Blood Moon, Wolf Moon

NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is a mesmerizing snapshot of the full Moon and its various forms such as Pink Moon, Blood Moon, Wolf Moon and more.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Jan 06 2023, 12:53 IST
How well do you know Earth's Moon? How did it form, rotation, its orbit? Get up close and familiar- 5 points
Moon
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)
Moon
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)
Moon
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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All the full Moons of 2022 are arranged in this dedicated astro-imaging project from Sri Lanka. (NASA/Niveth Kumar)

Today the planet will witness this year's first full Moon, which is also known as Wolf Moon. The Moon has long been one of the most central pieces of the studies related to Earth. Its presence influences various phenomena on the planet, such as tides. The full Moon is important for many, whether due to religious and cultural reasons or purely scientific reasons (such as checking for high tides). Even besides that, the full Moon in itself is a spectacular sight that brims the heart with joy when you take a look at it in all its glory. And here, we have the various avatars of the moon.

According to NASA, the Moon may appear to glow red sometimes. Other times, the Moon may appear larger than usual in our night sky. The Moon itself is not changing colors or sizes. Its changes in appearance are usually due to its position in relation to the Sun and Earth.

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a mesmerizing snapshot of the Moon in all its forms which the planet bore witness in 2022 presented like a clock. This “Moon O'Clock 2022” was captured by Niveth Kumar using a Sony A6400/A7IV camera with the Sony 100-400mm lens.

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NASA's explanation of the picture

The first Full Moon of 2023 is in the sky tonight opposite the Sun at 23:08 UTC. Big and beautiful, the Moon at its brightest phase should be easy to spot. Still, for quick reference images captured near the times of all the full moons of 2022 are arranged in this dedicated astro-imaging project from Sri Lanka, planet Earth. The day, month, and a traditional popular name for 2022's twelve full moons are given in the chart. The apparent size of each full moon depends on how close the full lunar phase is to perigee or apogee, the closest or farthest point in the Moon's elliptical orbit.

Like the 2022 Wolf Moon at the 1 o'clock position, tonight's Full Moon occurs within about two days of apogee. But unlike in 2022, the year 2023 will have 13 full moons that won't all fit nicely on the twelve-hour clock.

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First Published Date: 06 Jan, 12:52 IST
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