There may once have been life on the Moon, researcher says

Katie Ramirez
July 27, 2018

"It looks very much like the moon was habitable at this time", said Prof Schulze-Makuch.

The first record of any such event dated from 1666 - the same year of the Great Fire of London.

Malta will get the chance to feast its eyes on the longest total lunar eclipse of the century on Friday when the silvery moon will turn a blood red and spend a whopping 103 minutes in the Earth's shadow, according to astronomers. This will result in Mars coming close to the Earth, causing it to appear brighter than normal and it will be seen from evening to dawn towards the end of July.

Dr Gregory Brown, of the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: "We miss a section of the eclipse due to the moon being below our horizon when it starts". This eclipse will also be a Blood Moon, a phenomenon where the moon appears red in colour. However, the eclipse will only be visible this long in Asia. That's an hour and 43 minutes in total. On July 27, Mars will be in opposition, meaning the Sun, Earth and Mars will all line up with Earth directly in the middle. But the dust reflects sunlight, which makes for an even brighter Red Planet.

Mars is at its closest to Earth in its 35-year cycle, and is the closest it's been since the early 00s, and it won't be brighter or closer to Earth again until 2035.

Those attending Friday's event, which is being endorsed by the Valletta 2018 Foundation, can zoom in on this phenomenon through the telescopes on site and witnessother planets such Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

The partial eclipse will resume immediately afterward, as the moon passes out of Earth's shadow, and the whole event will be over at 23:28 UT (early on July 28, depending on where you live).

Saturday's lunar eclipse will be the longest of the 21st century to date.

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Despite all the hypothesizing, however, there are still doubts about life on the Moon.

"Hence the appellation of "Blood Moon".

"If that were true, we'd be in big trouble given the gravitational pulls on Earth, Mars, and our moon!" the NASA website states.

The moon takes about 27 days to orbit Earth and goes through regular phases in a 29.5-day cycle.

The researchers explain that conditions on the Moon's surface were adequate to support simple organisms after the Moon formed from a debris disk 4 billion years ago, and also during a peak in lunar volcanic activity which occurred around 3.5 billion years ago.

But from 10.15pm until 11.20pm, the sun will have descended a bit and the moon will have risen further creating a better image for viewers of the eclipse.

"If Earth partially blocks the sun, and the darkest part of its shadow falls across the moon's surface, it is called a partial eclipse".

However, he once told people in South Australia about one and they took a selfie with the Sun illuminating them and the Moon behind them.

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