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Front Page » October 30, 2012 » Emery County News » Observe the moon at Castle Dale library
Published 720 days ago

Observe the moon at Castle Dale library


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The Castle Dale Library hosted its second annual International Observe the Moon Night recently. As part of the celebration the family of Neil Armstrong had requested that people wink at the moon, the pictures were posted to flickr. Around 30 people attended the Castle Dale event, Some the activities included making the phases of the moon with the whites of oreo cookies, checking out the "real" time moon on the INOMN websites, and viewing the moon with binoculars.

The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite, and the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System. It is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun, although its surface is actually very dark, with a similar reflectance to coal. Its prominence in the sky and its regular cycle of phases have since ancient times made the Moon an important cultural influence on language, calendars, art and mythology. The Moon's gravitational influence produces the ocean tides and the minute lengthening of the day. The Moon's current orbital distance, about 30 times the diameter of the Earth, causes it to appear almost the same size in the sky as the sun, allowing it to cover the sun nearly precisely in total solar eclipses.

The Moon is the only celestial body on which humans have landed. While the Soviet Union's Luna program was the first to reach the moon with unmanned spacecraft in 1959, the United States' NASA Apollo program achieved the only manned missions to date, beginning with the first manned lunar orbiting mission by Apollo 8 in 1968, and six manned lunar landings between 1969 and 1972-the first being Apollo 11. These missions returned more than 380 kg of lunar rocks, which have been used to develop a detailed geological understanding of the Moon's origins (it is thought to have formed some 4.5 billion years ago in a giant impact event involving Earth), the formation of its internal structure, and its subsequent history.

After the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the Moon has been visited only by unmanned spacecraft, notably by the final Soviet Lunokhod rover. Since 2004, Japan, China, India, the United States, and the European Space Agency have each sent lunar orbiters. These spacecraft have contributed to confirming the discovery of lunar water ice in permanently shadowed craters at the poles and bound into the lunar regolith.

Future manned missions to the Moon have been planned, including government as well as privately funded efforts. The moon remains, under the Outer Space Treaty, free to all nations to explore for peaceful purposes. Moon information comes from Wikipedia.

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October 30, 2012
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