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The Moon (Luna)

The @stro object for the week of 01/17/2000

image of The Moon

image (c) Roger Herzler

The Moon (Luna). Earth's moon, also known as Luna, has been the subject of investigation and folklore since prehistoric times, and even direct exploration in more recent times. It has an orbit on average of ~384,400km from Earth, a diameter of 3476km, and it is the second brightest object in our sky after the Sun. Many theories on its origin have been expounded on. One of the currently popular ones is that the Moon was created from debris that resulted from a huge collision between Earth and another celestial body early in Earth's history. The Moon was first visited by the Russian satellite Luna 2 and is the only extraterrestrial body to be physically visited by humans as well. It was common to call the part of the Moon that faces away from us the "dark side of the Moon". This is in fact incorrect. It isn't actually "dark" but because the Moon's rotation closely approximates its 28 day orbit around Earth, there are large parts of the Moon that are never seen from Earth. Hence the name "dark side", even though it receives sunlight just like the part we do see. On Thursday night, January 20, 2000 (07:01pm PST) there will be total lunar eclipse easily visible from throughout North America. More info on the eclipse...

Total Lunar Eclipse of January 20, 2000
Partial Eclipse Begins: 03:01 AM* 07:01 PM
Total Eclipse Begins: 04:05 AM* 08:05 PM
Mid-Eclipse: 04:44 AM* 08:44 PM
Total Eclipse Ends: 05:22 AM* 09:22 PM
Partial Eclipse Ends: 06:25 AM* 10:25 PM

* Event occurs on morning of January 21, 2000

GST - Greenwich Mean Time
EST - Eastern Standard Time
CST - Central Standard Time
MST - Mountain Standard Time
PST - Pacific Standard Time

more info...

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