INSIGHT: Mid North Coast astronomer Dave Reneke who writes for the Australasian Science Magazine will share this skygazing tips with Advocate readers this summer.
INSIGHT: Mid North Coast astronomer Dave Reneke who writes for the Australasian Science Magazine will share this skygazing tips with Advocate readers this summer.

Supermoon in focus for stargazers

WITH a nice full Moon this Wednesday night it's going to be a great week for lunar studies and an even better time to haul out that telescope you got last Christmas and left in the garage.

The Moon makes for an easy target. OK, keep an eye on the skies this weekend as we head outside for a better look.

Tonight let your imagination sweep you away as we go mountain climbing - on the Moon!

The Moon rises early to mid evening for most of Australia this week which means it's going to be bright and visible all night long. 

It's a great time for newbie astronomers to check out the valleys, hills and craters as well. Some of those smaller craters seen through your scope are dozens of kilometres wide and hundreds of metres deep.

The craters were formed by asteroids and comets that collided with the moon, it's a rugged terrain.

Roughly 300,000 craters wider than 1km  are thought to be on the Moon's near side alone 

That's a lot of holes. And you thought our highways were bad.

Find the large grey flat area that makes up the 'left eye' part of the 'Man in the Moon' face.

The Sea of Fertility as its called stretches 1,500km in diameter, equal in size to the Great Sandy Desert here in Australia, and almost as vacant in interior features.

The Moon has only one sixth our gravity, so you'd have a ball if you're the athletic type. You'd be able to run six times faster, jump six times higher, and listen to this - you could probably lift one side of your car quite easily with two hands on the lunar surface!

"From the Moon, our Earth appears nearly four times larger than a full moon appears to us and shines around 45 times brighter than a full moon, Dave said. "That's why the Moonwalkers always had heavy Polaroid visors."

Not many people know our Earth seen from the moon also goes through phases, however they're opposite to the lunar phases that we see from the Earth. From any spot on the Moon, when you can see it, the Earth would always be in the same place in the sky. Weird huh?

Here's two last quirky Moon facts that will raise a few eyebrows.

When hit by large meteors the moon vibrates like a bell for more than an hour, true! And, strange as it may seem, the Moon is moving away from us at about 3cm every year.

Visit Dave's website www.davidreneke.com for more.



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