The full Moon

The full Moon

Fig. 5.9 . Our Moon glows by light it reflects from the Sun, orbiting the Earth about once a month, where the "mon" in month is short for moon. The gleaming light of the Full Moon, shown here, has beckoned humankind since ancient times, pulling us closer to the heavens and out into the Cosmos. It lies suspended in space, always apart and inextricably linked to the Earth. Terrestrial observers always see the near side of the Moon that is always turned toward the Earth. This view of the near side, Full Moon, enhances the contrast between the dark maria and the bright craters. The dark circular Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) is prominent in the northwest (upper left), immediately above the bright rays of craters Copernicus and Kepler (middle left). The dark circular Mare Serenitatis (Sea of Serenity) lies to the east (right) of Imbrium. (Photo courtesy of UCO/Lick Observatory.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University