A rare spectacle of multiple lunar events is happening on January 31 as the second full moon of the calendar month will appear larger, brighter, and display a reddish-orange hue during a total lunar eclipse.
This rare phenomenon occurring after more than 150 years will see the convergence of three lunar events, a lunar eclipse, a supermoon, and a blue moon.
AIPSN has put together different facts about the event on their campaign website, coppermoon18.wordpress.com. Enthusiasts can view information about the equipment required to watch an eclipse, how the eclipse can be experienced best, how to determine the time at which the eclipse will happen at your location, etc. Questions about how and why eclipses happen are also answered on the website. Resource material on the website is available in 11 regional Indian languages.
AIPSN is a national platform of 40 science movements across the country which regularly work towards promotion of scientific temper.
The campaign also encourages people to organis
e local viewings for their neighbourhood, scho
ols, or colleges.
The campaign is being endorsed by International Centre for Theoretical Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Astronomical Society of India, and Bangalore Astronomers’ Association.
3 to 4.5 billion years ago
When the moon may have been formed. The giant impact hypothesis suggests that the moon formed when an object smashed into early earth.
Italian Galileo Galilei is often credited with being the first person to look through a telescope and make drawings of the celestial objects he observed. Actually, Englishman Thomas Harriot made the first drawing of the moon after looking through a telescope months before him in July 1609.
It has been decades since the last men walked on the moon. On Dec 7, astronauts Ron Evans and Eugene Cernan and their travelling companion, astronaut-geologist Harrison Schmitt, became the last men to blast off for the moon. After burning up billions of dollars in expenses, Nasa’s Apollo space programme ended abruptly with the Apollo 17 mission that month.
United States President Donald Trump signed a document which formally directs the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) to focus on returning humans to the moon. CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk – despite having a complex relationship with Mr Trump – approves, tweeting that “we should have a moon base by now”.
“We are going to the moon that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.”
– French-born novelist Anais Nin.
“We’ll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl.”
– Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, referring to moon goddess Chang Er of the Chinese legend. This was part of a conversation between “Houston” (Nasa Mission Control Center) and the Apollo 11 crew before the first moon landing in 1969. Houston told them a headline said ‘an ancient legend says a beautiful Chinese girl called Chang-o has been living there for 4,000 years’ with a big bunny.