Bologna, 13 October 2021 – The night of the moon. The traditional and now annual event entitled “International observe the Moon Night” is scheduled for Saturday 16 October amateur moon observation night. And it is an international initiative, also promoted by NASA, and dedicated to the discovery and exploration of our satellite. It takes place every year in the early autumn months, when the first lunar quarter is visible: an optimal time for its observation.

“The Moon in northern Italy, around Bologna – explains Romano Serra, astrophysicist and co-founder of the Municipal Observatory of Persiceto – will rise at about 5:15 pm, it will pass through the meridian at 10:30 pm and set at 2:30 am on October 17th . The distance from Earth will be around 382,000 kilometers. The Moon will be visible at about 80% and therefore the terminator – that is the line between shadow and light – will allow observe the craters well because the sunlight in those areas of the Moon will be grazing ”.

As we know our satellite Luna has a great importance for the planet Earth, because it stabilizes the inclination of the rotation axis. It is also the cause, together with the Sun, of the tides. “Of the Moon – continues Serra -, as we know, we can see from the Earth always the same ‘face’; this is because the lunar day, that is the period of time that our satellite takes to rotate on itself, is equal to the time of a complete revolution around the Earth, that is a little less than a month. Furthermore, the distance between the Earth and the Moon, on average, is around 385 thousand kilometers, but over time it reaches 360 thousand kilometers, and it is the moment when the Moon is closest to the Earth. On the contrary, the distance can reach up to 405 thousand kilometers, that is when the Moon is furthest away. The celestial phenomenon causes the Moon does not always have the same size in the sky. This is also important because it causes the shapes of total or annular solar eclipses. The annularity of the eclipse occurs when the Moon is far from the Earth and therefore does not completely cover the solar disk, thus making us see a ring of light ”.

And the astrophysicist continues: “Another characteristic of the Moon visible with binoculars is the large amount of craters which in some cases can even reach 100 kilometers in diameter and which can be seen particularly well when they are on the terminator line, that is, in areas of grazing light “.

Observatory open for the night of the Moon

Saturday evening 16 October, from 9 pm to 11 pm, the San Giovani in Persiceto Observatory will be open to the public for the observation of the Moon. And also in Persiceto, in the Museum of Heaven and Earth, which is located near the Observatory, you can see several lunar meteorites that is, fragments of rock that have fallen to Earth, belonging to our natural satellite. “These meteorites – explains Serra – have been recognized as lunar because they have both isotopic characteristics and chemical relationships, typical of moon rocks that astronauts brought to Earth. Therefore, the people who will come to the Persiceto Observatory, in addition to observing the Moon from the telescope, will be able to see and touch a couple of these crumbs of the Moon. But not only that, because there are also meteorites Martian. We can then say, without a shadow of denial, if we bring these fragments together, that the Moon and Mars touch each other … on the Earth ”.

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