This week you can see a "Super Moon": An expert assures that it will be similar to the observation of an object in a glass of water

As the astronomer UV explains, since the average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,000 kilometers, we can observe a slightly larger and brighter full moon – given its proximity -, of the order of ten percent brighter.

For the second time this year, our natural satellite will be the protagonist of one of the most beautiful shows offered by the universe, known as the Super Moon, which this Tuesday, June 14 will be visible from 6:00 p.m. rising from the east (by the Cordillera) and hiding around 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 15 in the west (by the sea).

Ramsés Jerez, an astronomer from the University of Valparaíso and holder of a master’s degree in astrophysics, said that “this is the second Super Moon of the year. On this occasion, and since the moon’s orbit is elliptical, it will position itself approximately 352 thousand kilometers from the Earth. Around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, the moon will reach its maximum elevation at night, at which time it will be at that distance, being the shortest in its orbit relative to Earth (a phase known as perigee).

As the astronomer UV explains, since the average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,000 kilometers, we can observe a slightly larger and brighter full moon – given its proximity -, of the order of ten percent brighter.

“We will be able to see the moon in all its glory, as long as the weather is with us and it is clear. It is ideal to accompany a moonlit evening, with a cheese platter and a good Merlot. This Super Moon is also known as the Strawberry Moon because it coincides with the end of the strawberry growing season in the Northern Hemisphere.The moon is very beautiful when observed as it rises and conceals. taking advantage of the abilities of the atmosphere of our planet to refract light, it is possible to observe a very large moon, as if observing an object in a glass of water.The effect of increase is produced, and it looks a bit yellowish,” he said.

Binoculars or telescopes

Ramsés Jerez recommended: “We can observe the Super Moon directly with our eyes. No special instrument is needed to observe it. However, those who want to use binoculars or telescopes must incorporate special filters to reduce the brightness of the moon through the instrument. Polarizing filters or surface reducers are used for this purpose”.

He also warned that “prolonged exposures to light reflected from the moon in our eyes can cause temporary blindness and eye damage if this exposure is very long. The moon reflects sunlight, so we look at this radiation indirectly.”

protective shield

Regarding the relevant role that our natural satellite plays for the Earth, the astronomer pointed out that “the Moon is our protective shield against the threat of asteroids, just like Jupiter. Through the eyes of a telescope, it is possible to observe how uneven the surface of the moon is due to the impacts of bodies from space such as meteoroids and asteroids, mainly. These collide directly with the surface of the moon, since its atmosphere is almost zero, therefore these bodies from space do not disintegrate upon entering the planet, contrary to what happens with the atmosphere terrestrial, or what we call shooting stars.

Additionally, “the moon is responsible for generating tides in the oceans and generating motion in the sea, as well as being important in correcting and stabilizing the tilt of the Earth on its axis. This tilt is what which causes the seasons of the year as we know it. All of this is due to the gravitational pull that the moon exerts on the earth (and vice versa). Without all of these characteristics, life on earth would be different in the way of which we know it, and I would even dare to say that life would not have been born on our planet.

When asked how long it would take a rocket to reach the Moon if launched at Perigee, the astronomer explained that there are usually no direct paths, because launching a rocket in space must overcome the gravitational pull of the Earth and achieve what is called “escape velocity”.

“This speed is of the order of forty thousand kilometers per hour, which is equivalent to something like eleven kilometers per second. To reach these speeds, it is necessary to circle the Earth before leaving the vicinity of the planet entirely. As it spins, gravitational impulses are used, this means that at a certain orbit in space, gravity exerts forces that allow the rocket to accelerate, so travel times vary. For example, Apollo 8 took three days and circled the moon twenty times, while Apollo 17 took four. This is what happened with several space probes, which took advantage of the gigantic forces of gravitational attraction exerted by Jupiter and Saturn. Another example is the “New Horizons” probe, which was launched by NASA in 2006 and arrived on Pluto in 2015. Its journey was programmed in such a way that it passed “near” Jupiter and thus obtained this impulse. In this way, energy is saved, which, at these enormous distances, is very useful for carrying out the various studies”.

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