Science

There might once have been life on... the Moon? Yes, say researchers

There might once have been life on... the Moon? Yes, say researchers”

Look at the Moon today and you'll see a barren rock, but that might not always have been the case.

As the moon lines up with the Earth and the Sun, the moon will darken in colour switching from its silvery glow to a rustic, dark red colour. However, UK observers will be slightly late to the party, as the moon will already be in the Earth's shadow when it appears at around 9pm.

Schulze-Makuch and Ian Crawford, a professor of planetary science and astrobiology at the University of London, say conditions on the lunar surface were sufficient to support simple lifeforms shortly after the Moon formed from a debris disk 4 billion years ago and again during a peak in lunar volcanic activity around 3.5 billion years ago.

"In this case, the further south you are in New Zealand the better, with Otago and Southland being favoured".

DOUBLE TREAT This composite image created on January 31 shows the moon during a lunar eclipse in Tokyo. Lunar eclipse 2018 will occur on the late hours of July 27 early hours of July 28.

The opportunity was longer in the southernmost parts of the country.

The stellar alignment will result in the moon disappearing into the Earth's shadow and reappearing as the ominous Blood Moon.

In Dunedin, the interval was reduced to four minutes; in Christchurch, three minutes.

Via Denali National Park and Preserve
Via Denali National Park and Preserve

The next total lunar eclipse will take place on Jan 21, 2019, but it won't be visible from Singapore as it will happen during daytime.

In a lovely coincidence, on July 27, Mars will also appear large and bright in the sky as it moves towards its closest approach to Earth in 15 years.

"Red light had a better chance of doing so for the same reason the sky was blue - shorter wavelengths were scattered more efficiently by the molecules in our atmosphere".

The moon will be in the southeast of the sky when it rises.

The balance of Asia and Europe, as well as Africa and Antarctica, will be able to see the entirety of the eclipse.

According to the publication, on 27 July, the Israelis will be able to see a long lunar Eclipse. "And, contrary to solar eclipses this phenomenon is completely safe to see through the naked eye... plus you have plenty of time to savour the majestic dance of heavenly bodies since it will last one hour and 43 minutes", ISSA founder Kristian Zarb Adami said. The other regions that share this cosmic treat are the Middle East, parts of Russian Federation and Kazakhstan, and the eastern half of Africa, but at least part of the eclipse can be seen from nearly everywhere in the world except North America.

"We should have a coppery red tint on the moon with Mars the "Red Planet" just next to it, very bright and with a slight orange hue itself".

The next lunar eclipse of such a length is due in 2123.



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