Moon is the only natural satellite of the earth and obviously the nearest to our planet. Humans have been dreaming for so long for settling in the moon. Several science fictions has talked about how life will be on the moon. Humans have been sending people and machines to the moon to explore it. If we think the day and night concepts the same as per the moon, we are entirely mistaken. The days and nights on the moon called lunar day and lunar night. And these are exciting concepts in astronomical studies.
Why talk of the lunar day and lunar night?
There are two important reasons for knowing the concept of the lunar day and lunar night. First, we need to think that if we live on the moon after some point in time, we need to accustom to the moon system. Any lunar adventure planned must take into account the lunar day and lunar night. Lunar days are scorching, and lunar nights are freezing. In lunar days the temperature is reaching up to 270 degrees, and during nights it falls to minus 280 degrees
Chandrayaan-2 and lunar day:
The Vikram lander planned to land on the moon’s surface during the lunar days. When the orbiter lost its signals with the Vikram lander, the ISRO and NASA continuously tried their best to reconnect with the lander for about 14 days. When the lunar night started, they could not connect with the lander.
What are a lunar day and lunar night?
A lunar day means the time taken by the moon to complete one rotation on its own axis. One side of the moon is always facing the earth, and the other hand is turned away from the planet.
The lunar day lasts for 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes. So this is the total time taken by the moon to make one orbit around the earth. The earth rotates around the sun in one year.
The lunar day is approximately 14 days long, and the lunar night is again of the same duration.
What does our Moon shine?
The moon shines because it reflects the Sunlight. At the same time, our Moon reflects so much light that it makes viewing parts of the night sky.
What is the dark side of the Moon?
Actually, there is no dark side of the Moon. Just like our Earth, Moon also rotates on its own axis. Our Moon’s day and night cycles are a little longer than Earth’s. The Moon spins its shaft once every 27.3 days. This means that Earth observes always see the same side of the Moon (called the “nearside”). The team we do not see from Earth called the “far side.”
How long does it take our Moon to go around Earth?
It takes 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes for our Moon to complete one full orbit around Earth. This is called the sidereal month and is measured by our Moon’s position. However, it takes our Moon about 29.5 days to complete one cycle of phases. This is called the synodic month. The difference between the sidereal and synodic months occurs because as our Moon moves around the Earth, and the Earth also moves around the Sun.