Written by Karl Hricko on May 17, 2022
Hello! I’m Karl Hricko of United Astronomy Clubs of NJ and the National Space Society, bringing you the May Starwatch for WNTI.ORG.
Has any human ever walked on the Moon? The U.S. is the only country that had 6 astronauts to land and walk on the Moon between 1969 and 1972 – beginning with Apollo 11 to Apollo 17. Although 3 astronauts went on each trip, only 2 descended to the Moon’s surface in the Lunar Module while the 3rd remained in the Command Module orbiting the Moon. The first human on the Moon was Neil Armstrong, followed by Buzz Aldrin. Michael Collins remained in the orbiting Command Module.
Our Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has imaged 6 American flags, 6 launch platforms, 4 seismographs, and 3 reflecting mirrors at the Apollo landing sites. Aside from this, as evidence that we have been to the Moon, 842 pounds of Moon rock was brought back by the astronauts.
We have a total lunar eclipse on the 15th to the 16th this month – totality beginning at 11:30 pm and lasting an hour and a half. Although no human foot has been placed on any of our planets, we still can see 5 of them. Mercury appears at dusk looking west in Taurus, close to the horizon. At dawn, looking left to right to the east, we see Venus and Jupiter in Pisces, Mars in Aquarius, and Saturn in Ophiuchus. Throughout the month, the Moon slides by these planets from right to left.
So even though you may not be able to plant your feet on the Moon, you should be able to see the Moon eclipsed among the stars and planets!
Until our next Starwatch – Don’t forget to check out … What’s up in the night sky!