Published: Fri, July 27, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

WSU researcher sees possibility of moon life

WSU researcher sees possibility of moon life

Although the lunar eclipse is expected to last 103 minutes, observers in the United Kingdom and Ireland will not be able to catch the start as the moon will still be below the horizon.

"Our talks this year put a heavy accent on our environment to help make people aware that while looking up at the heavens it is still vital to ensure we preserve our planet", Prof. There is strong evidence of a large amount of water in the lunar mantle that is thought to have been deposited very early on in the Moon's formation, researchers said.

Total lunar eclipse, blood moon on July 27: The month of July will end with a unique celestial phenomena: a total lunar eclipse, a blood moon, which will be the longest one of the century. As the sun's light is bent through the Earth's atmosphere, it is scattered by dust and haze in the air, casting a reddish hue on to the eclipsed moon, in a similar way to the red colour of the sun at sunrise and sunset. During the eclipse, the moon will appear red, giving it the nickname "blood moon". However, the partial eclipse will be visible for nearly four hours. On July 27 at 10.44 pm, the partial shadow or penumbra of the earth would start touching the moon.

Amateur astronomers in the southern hemisphere will be best-placed to enjoy the spectacle, especially those in southern Africa, Australia, India and Madagascar, though it will also be partly visible in Europe and South America.

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The same day, Mars will be at its brightest as it travels close to earth, so observers may be able to see what looks like an orange-red star which is in fact the so called red planet. And on Friday, Mars will be in opposition.

For those in areas from Whanganui to Wellington, there was just a slim chance of glimpsing the totally-eclipsed moon as the sun peeked above the horizon.

What you'll see during the whole phase of the lunar eclipse will be the Moon steadily getting darker and darker before it quickly turns a dark red colour.

This is sometimes referred to as a 'micromoon, ' and is the opposite of the well-known supermoon, or perigee (when the moon is at its closest to Earth).

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Schulze-Makuch acknowledges that determining if life arose on the Moon or was transported from elsewhere "can only be addressed by an aggressive future program of lunar exploration".

He said the young moon's magnetic field could have shielded the atmosphere and any organisms on the surface from blasts of deadly solar radiation.

The effect is caused by the sun's rays being filtered by the Earth's atmosphere, meaning that red light hits the surface of the Moon.

The Moon will also spend a longer time in darkness than normal because its current path takes it right through the middle of Earth's shadow.

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Further research could also involve simulation chambers that would mimic the moon's conditions to see if life could have survived.

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