July 20th was named National Moon Day to commemorate the anniversary of the day humans first walked on the moon: July 20th 1969. In celebration of National Moon Day, here are 7 things you probably didn't know about the moon!
Q. What is a lunar eclipse?
A. Lunar eclipses are when the moon, the Earth, and the sun line up in space and the moon is in the Earth's shadow-- they happen 2-5 times a year!
Q. What is a blood moon?
A. A 'blood moon' is a total lunar eclipse, causing the moon to appear red because of the way the Earth reflects light. The other types of lunar eclipses are partial and penumbral eclipses.
Q. When is the next lunar eclipse?
A. The next lunar eclipse will happen on November 20th, 2020 and it will be a penumbral eclipse. If you look closely, you'll see a slight shadow on the moon!
Q. What did ancient cultures believe caused lunar eclipses?
A. Ancient cultures all over the world believed that lunar eclipses were caused by the moon being eaten-- by a jaguar in Mayan tradition, by a sow in Egyptian lore and by demons according to the Mesopotamians.
Q. What is a super moon?
A. A 'super moon' happens because the moon actually has an elliptical rather than circular orbit around the Earth-- when the moon's orbit reaches the point where it's closest to the Earth during a full moon, the moon appears bigger and brighter!
Q. What does your moon sign tell you?
A. In astrology, your moon sign characterizes your inner emotions and needs: a representation of your private self. Learning about your moon sign can also give you insight into your relationships with others!
Q. How did moonstones get their name?
A. Moonstones are named because the blue-grey flashes appearing across the stone reminded Romans of moonlight-- they thought the stones were crystalized moonbeams.