Moon and Regulus

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Moon and Regulus

The United States and China plan to build permanent bases on the Moon. For the people who inhabit those bases, daily life will be quite different from life on Earth.

For starters, the Moon’s gravity is only one-sixth as strong as Earth’s. So just walking will take some getting used to — a big step inside the base could result in a bump on the head.

There’s no air on the Moon. Without it, there’s an extreme range in temperature. At the equator, it can range from about 250 degrees Fahrenheit at noon, to more than 200 below zero at night.

A day on the Moon lasts about 28 Earth days. That means an average of two weeks of daylight, followed by two weeks of darkness — an arrangement guaranteed to mess with the body clock.

From the side of the Moon that always faces Earth, there’d be something else that might take some getting used to: Earth would always hang at the same point in the sky, day and night. So you could watch Earth go through the same cycle of phases as the Moon does as seen from Earth. Earth is bigger and more reflective than the Moon is, though, so it would be quite a sight.

Earth would be hard to see tonight. That’s because the Moon is full — it lines up opposite the Sun in our sky. Earth is between the Moon and Sun, so it’s new, so no portion of the Moon-facing side is in the sunlight.

The full Moon has a bright companion tonight — Regulus, the brightest star of Leo. It stays close to the Moon all night.

Script by Damond Benningfield

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