Moon Viewing event on 19th March at Hulhumale'

The Maldivian Association for the Advancement of Science (MAAS) is organising an event to view and explore the Moon through telescopes on Saturday 19th March, when the Moon's orbit brings it closest to the Earth it has been in 18 years. The Moon will actually reach perigee (its closest orbital approach to Earth) at 12:10 AM, the 20th March.

The Moon is the Earth's only natural satellite and formed about 4.5 billion years ago as a result of what is very likely to have been a collision between the proto-Earth and a slightly smaller-sized proto-planet whose orbit brought about a collision of the two bodies. The Moon orbits the Earth at a distance of about 30 times the diameter of the Earth and takes 27.3 days to complete its elliptical orbit around Earth. The elliptical orbit means that the Moon travels to the position nearest to the Earth, called the Perigee, and the position furthest from Earth, called the Apogee, once every 2 weeks. Moreover, because the plane of this elliptical orbit also rotates through several years, the perigee and apogee distances also change from year to year. The Moon's orbit will take it as close as 356,577 km away from Earth on 19th March. However, the Moon came much closer, at 356,529 km, on 8th March 1993 and will come even closer, at 356,511 km, on 14th November 2016.

The MAAS Moon viewing event will take place in Hulhumale', on the grounds used to hold the night market (see location on map). The moon viewing starts at 8PM and will go on until 11:30PM. There will be presentations about the moon about every 15 minutes to help everyone get a better understanding.

See you there!


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