What would it be like to observe the Earth from the Moon? We suit up for a look! 

Over the Shoulder Planet
At about 1:14 GMT on December 12, 1972, during Apollo 17 mission's first EVA (Extravehicular Activity), Eugene Cernan photographed Harrison Schmitt deploying the American flag with Earth in the background. Click here to enlarge.
NASA

One of my favorite photos shows astronaut Harrison Schmitt standing next to the American flag with the Earth in the background during the Apollo 17 mission. Taken by Eugene Cernan, it's one of the few images that features our planet and a fellow human together on another world.

I ran across the photo again recently and wondered if I could recreate the scene and get a feel for what it would be like to stand on the Moon and see our home planet from afar using planetarium-style software. How bright is the Earth? How does it move in the lunar sky?

Because the Moon is tidally locked to the Earth — it revolves around our planet at the same rate that it rotates — we always see the same side. While the Moon's gravity has acted as a brake on Earth's rotation over time, our Earth still spins merrily away in the lunar sky every 24 hours. Observers would see ever-changing cloud patterns, the blue oceans, polar ice, and the general outlines of the continents coarsely with the naked eye and much better in a pair of binoculars.

If you've observed Mars through your telescope and watched as the planet's rotation brings new features into view, observing the Earth under magnification would feel oddly familiar since both planets have similar rotation rates, with the Martian day or "sol" just 40 minutes longer.

Monkey see monkey do
Earth and Moon phases are complementary. When one's a crescent, the other's a gibbous and so on. The best time to view city lights on Earth would be around new Earth phase, but you'll need a telescope to see them. Most cities are too faint to see with the naked eye. See this article to find out why.
Stellarium with additions by the author

Standing on the lunar equator, the Earth would shine near the zenith and cycle through phases the same way the Moon does on Earth, at the same time describing a small loop in the sky (more on this in a minute). Earth's phases are complementary to those of the Moon: when the Moon is new (from an earthling's perspective), would-be Lunarians see a full Earth. Because the near side of the Moon always faces the Earth, I used to think Earth stayed put in the lunar sky, its altitude varying depending on location: overhead at the equator, midway up from the mid-latitudes, and scraping the horizon at the poles. But yeah, the Earth moves!

Rockin' and Rollin'
Simulated views of the Moon over a month demonstrate librations in latitude and longitude, lunar phases, and variations in the Moon's size caused by its variable distance from Earth.
Tom Ruen

The Moon's orbit is inclined 5.1° to the plane of our planet's orbit which causes the Earth to weave north and south of the ecliptic during each lap around our planet exactly as the Moon does in Earth's skies. The Moon also moves faster in its orbit when closer to the Earth and slower when farther away, making it appear to rock from side to side each month and exposing areas beyond the east and west limbs.

The Moon's tilt combined with the its changing speed along its orbit causes the Earth to trace out a small ellipse in the lunar sky approximately 15° long each lunar revolution. Earth travels along this ellipse at a varying rate, reflecting the Moon's speed-ups and slow-downs along its eccentric orbit. Seen from the polar regions, where the Earth is always near the horizon, the planet would routinely rise and set within a small patch of sky each orbital cycle. Weird.

Just as the Moon's brightness varies with phase, so does the Earth's — a day-old terrestrial crescent shines around magnitude –6, while the Full Earth glares at –16, fifteen times brighter than the full Moon. When the Moon is new and draped in darkness, the full Earth provides a useful source of nighttime illumination, enough to pick your way among the lunar rocks . . . provided you were dressed for the –200°C temperatures.

 

Reflecting the Moon's Motion
This time-lapse animation shows the Earth tracing a small ellipse in the lunar sky as it dips 5° degrees above and below the ecliptic (yellow line) while changing phases over a 29-day period starting October 17, 2018. Watch as the Sun, familiar stars, and the Pleiades fly by.
Stellarium
Come and go Earth
From 85° north latitude the Earth dips below the lunar horizon for several days each month.
Stellarium

The Earth reflects considerably more blue light thanks to the oceans compared to what the Moon sends our way — I suspect an astronaut would notice a watery hue to the ubiquitous grey rocks and distant hills. This would modulate to a dusky red-orange during the infrequent times when the Earth hid the Sun during a total solar eclipse — the atmosphere would glow with the ruddy radiance of a million sunrises and sunsets and drape the moonscape in subtle, warm hues.

Magnificent Earth
This magnificent image of our blue planet rising over the Moon's limb was made with NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter on October 2015 when the spacecraft flew about 134 kilometers above the Moon's far side. Click here to enlarge. 
NASA

Given the Earth's greater size, it naturally appears larger in the lunar sky. From the perspective of an astronaut standing on the Moon's surface, Earth varies from 1.8° to 2° in apparent diameter as the Moon travels from perigee (closest approach) to apogee (farthest) during its 27.3-day orbit.

From Earth, the Moon appears to move about one outstretched fist to the east each night, hopscotching from one zodiac constellation to the next, but from the Moon the Earth remains in one small part of the sky as the constellations march by. And those amazing planetary conjunctions we so look forward to? Exactly as the Moon passes one planet after another in conjunction each month so too does the Earth. With a difference. Like subjects approaching a medieval king, the planets come to the waiting Earth, hold audience, and then depart.

The orientation of Earth's axis with respect to the Sun changes throughout the year. Around June 21, the north polar axis tilts maximally sunward, while around December 21 the south polar axis has its turn. Best times for viewing the Earth's polar regions from the Moon occur when the Moon is new (Earth is full) during Southern and Northern Hemisphere summers. Both times, the ends of the Earth are tipped in the Moon's direction and in sunlight.

Put yourself out there
Will astronauts walk the Moon when Earth occults the Pleiades in November 2024?
Stellarium with additions by the author

Let's return to the Apollo 17 photo again. Astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt landed in the Taurus-Littrow highlands on the afternoon of December 11, 1972, Eastern Time. According to NASA's Apollo 17 mission timeline, the flag was deployed and documented a little more than an hour into the astronauts' first EVA (Extravehicular Activity), or at 1:13:58 GMT December 12, 1972, to be precise. The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal gives the Sun's altitude during the "flag raising" as approximately 16°.

Turning Back the Clock
Apollo 17 landed in the Taurus-Littrow highlands and valley region at lunar latitude and longitude 20° 9′ 55″N, 30° 45′ 57″E. This view simulates the sky above the Apollo 17 astronauts during their first EVA. Stars are shown to magnitude 6.2.
Stellarium

These crucial bits of information allowed me to verify the simulated view of the lunar sky created with the sky-charting program Stellarium. On that December day, Earth was in waning gibbous phase 3° southwest of Regulus in Leo some 45° high in the southwestern sky. At magnitude –15, the glare probably made the star difficult to see unless you raised your hand and covered our planet. The Sun shone low in the eastern sky in Ophiuchus far off to the left in the simulation. Given the Moon's location in the photo and the glint of sunlight on Harrison's visor, my hunch is he was facing north-northeast when Cernan snapped the image.

If you are a Moon lover like I am, Saturday October 20th is International Observe the Moon Night, a worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration. Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi will offer a live, online observing session where viewers can watch the Moon rise above the Roman skyline. How cool is that? Click here for details.

If you have good weather, take a walk some night this week, look up at the Moon and use it to get a better view of the planet you're standing on.

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Apollo Moon

Comments


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Anthony Barreiro

October 17, 2018 at 6:46 pm

Thanks Bob, this is wonderful. I especially appreciate the explanation of the Earth's apparent motion in the sky as seen from the Moon. The animation is really cool. I wish there was a way to slow it down, so I could figure out which constellations are in the background.

I think NASA or somebody should put a video camera right in the middle of the Moon's nearside pointed toward the Earth, and post the live feed on the internet. It would be really popular when the Moon is fully eclipsed as seen from Earth, but I would probably look at it every day, just like I look at the Moon every clear night.

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Bob King

October 17, 2018 at 8:54 pm

Anthony,
What a great idea! It's absolutely time for this the next time astronauts go to the Moon. I just created an additional polar perspective and slowed it down so you can follow the constellations 🙂

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Anthony Barreiro

October 18, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Thanks Bob!

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Rod

October 18, 2018 at 8:49 am

Bob, very good report here. Reports like this help teach astronomy. Today on YouTube we have groups who claim NASA never went to the Moon along with the geocentric, nonrotating flat earth club 🙂 You said "Given the Earth's greater size, it naturally appears larger in the lunar sky. From the perspective of an astronaut standing on the Moon's surface, Earth varies from 1.8° to 2° in apparent diameter as the Moon travels from perigee (closest approach) to apogee (farthest) during its 27.3-day orbit."

Correct Bob, I used my trusty Excel spreadsheet I developed for the check.

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Bob King

October 18, 2018 at 8:57 pm

Thanks, Rod 🙂

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Sally Everson

June 13, 2019 at 9:13 am

If earth is four times bigger than moon why does it look so small from the moon landing photos as in the Apollo 17 landing you show? Shouldn't it look much bigger than a typical moon here on earth? My son did a science project on the moon landing and asks this question and I can't find an answer.

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Bob King

June 13, 2019 at 10:59 am

Hi Sally,
Glad you asked. The full moon is half a degree across. From the moon, Earth appears 3.7 times as large as the full moon or 1.8° across. While it would clearly appear larger to your eye, you could still fit nearly 3 Earths between the two stars at the end of the bucket of the Big Dipper. So yes, it's bigger but not that big. It doesn't look as large as you'd guess in the photos because the picture was taken with a "normal" lens, similar to what you'd use on Earth. The apparent size of objects in the sky has everything to do with what lens you use to take the picture. The astronauts used 60mm and 70mm lenses for lunar scenes so the Earth isn't big in the frame. If they had taken a photo of it with a telephoto lens it would appear larger.

If you composed a scene on Earth that included the moon, it would look really small — just a little dot in the frame. The Earth looks larger to MY eye relative to the scene because I've taken lots of pictures of the moon in the sky and have a basis for comparison. If you have a 50-70mm focal length lens, you might try a little experiment with the upcoming full moon by taking a photo of a scene that includes the moon in the frame. You'll get a feel for how small it looks. Bottom line though: Earth's size in a photo depends on what lens you use, making it hard to judge how big it appears unless you're standing there and looking up at it yourself.

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thutchens11

October 18, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Bob,
I too am a lover of the Moon. I have been fascinated by it since I was a child. I have recently come across some information that has me questioning everything we know about the Moon. Maybe you can clear some things up for me. First off, how do account for the phases of the Moon always being the same, cycle after cycle? Secondly, how do you account for the convex surface of the Moon being able to reflect sunlight the way it does. From my teaching and experience, a convex object cannot reflect light in a spread out patter, only a singular, focused point; whereas a concave surface can spread light out just as we observe it. Third, how do you account for the parallax in the relative positions of the constellations? They never change. If we are hurling through space millions of miles per hour, rotating on a tilted axis why do the stars never change positions? Fourth question: How do you explain Polaris and time lapse photography clearly showing concentric circles in the night sky? 5th, how can you see the Southern Cross and Polaris and the same time? 6th question: How can you account for the fact you can see the midnight sun from the 65th parallel and above for a complete 24 hour cycle? Wouldn't you have to be able to see through miles of land mass anywhere below 89 degrees? 7th question: I recently read a book titled King's Dethroned which deals with the history of the science of Astronomy and its evolution into the current state of acceptance. Are you familiar with the book? Sorry so long winded, but I have had these questions for some time now and just found your blog today. Please feel free to email me privately at thutchens11@yahoo.com. Thanks for your time, have a great day!

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Bob King

October 18, 2018 at 10:02 pm

Thutchens,

That's a lot of questions! Here we go:
1. The phases are the same cycle after cycle because the Moon is constantly revolving around the Earth. When it's between the Sun and Earth it's new, when the angle it makes with the Earth and Sun is 90° it's first or last quarter, and when it's 180° opposite the Sun, it's full. Just a matter of wash and repeat.

2. I think you might be confusing the Moon with a convex lens. Light passes through a convex lens and focuses at a point. The Moon is also convex (approx. a sphere) but it's opaque rock. When struck by sunlight, its rough surface reflects and scatters light all over the place, so it appears brightly lit. The Sun lights up a soccer ball the same way it does the Moon.

3. The constellations don't show parallax effects because the stars that comprise them are incredibly far away. Only over thousands of years, do stellar motions (and the Sun's movement around the center of the galaxy) accumulate to the point of distorting the constellations' outlines. You could transport someone from ancient Greece to the present, and they'd probably would see no changes unless they were really sharp-eyed observers. In which case they'd notice that Sirius and Arcturus had moved a bit.

4. Earth's north polar axis happens to point in the direction of Polaris. As the planet spins, stars in the northern half of the sky appear to describe circles around Polaris. Stars closer to Polaris make smaller circles, while stars further away make bigger ones. Together they make concentric circles as you've seen in time exposure photographs. Pop open an umbrella. The shaft is the Earth's axis and the umbrella the sky. Spin the shaft and guess what happens? The "sky" turns in circles.

5. Both the Southern Cross and Polaris are visible at the same time from the northern tropics in the late spring evening sky. The Southern Cross is low in the south; Polaris is low in the north. The southern pole star — the equivalent of Polaris — is considerably farther south in the sky than the Southern Cross and below the horizon from the northern tropics. At the equator Polaris sits at the very bottom of the northern sky while Sigma Octantis (southern pole star) sits at the bottom of the southern sky. This is as close as you'll get to seeing them together in the same sky, but they're basically invisible for all practical purposes because their altitudes are close to zero degrees.

6. First, a few details. Along the Arctic Circle (latitude +66.5°), the Sun is only visible for 24 hours one night a year on the summer solstice. The further north of that you go, the more days of midnight sun. Because the Sun is relatively far from the tiny Earth it shines over a huge area, so there's no looking through land mass. Only if the Sun were impossibly close to Earth and extremely tiny would it be hidden by land. It is neither.

7. I had not heard of the book before, so I took a quick browse and quickly saw that the author makes a number of fallacious arguments. For instance, his interpretation of the law of refraction (when the Moon and Sun are near the horizon) is not correct. He is also incorrect when he writes that the shadow of the Moon during a lunar eclipse is not caused by the Earth. I would take what's written in this book with a large grain of salt. Thank you for your questions!

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thutchens11

October 19, 2018 at 7:42 am

Thank you very much for answering my questions. There is so much information out there on the net that some of it contradicts what I learned in college. I took both stellar and planetary astronomy but, had not come across these topics/questions before.

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thutchens11

October 19, 2018 at 8:05 am

Bob,
Sorry to be a bugaboo but I have one last issue that has me perplexed. I was sent a link to a video and was immediately turned off by the title but watched it anyway just to see what is was all about. It is basically a 3D modeling from our perspective on Earth relative to the sky above us. It got me questioning so many things, some of which you have cleared up for me and others that still linger in my mind. I am not a F.E.'r, nor a trol, just a really curious individual. If you have any spare time (the video is 25 minutes long) could you review it and PLEASE debunk it for me. I would like to be steered in the correct direction moving forward. Thanks Again for your valuable time and logical responses to my questions. Heres the link but I dont know if your spam filter will allow my post with a link included.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1DnVwgNhZo

-T

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Bob King

October 19, 2018 at 10:34 am

Thutchens,
Glad you liked the article — thank you. I saw enough of the video to understand it as an attempt to show the Earth is flat. We're long past that. Whether through misunderstanding of basic science or simply deception the video's makers are in error. The opening scene that attempts to prove that the Sun must be very close to the Earth because its rays aren't parallel when shining through clouds is a misunderstanding of the well-known railroad track illusion. In the illusion, parallel tracks appear to converge in the distance. If you accept the video makers' point of view, then all railroad tracks must meet at a point a few miles in the distance. Pity the poor train engineers and their passengers! Of course we know they don't meet — they're parallel. Just like the Sun's rays are parallel because it's shining from a very great distance.
After seeing that much of the video (a couple minutes) I didn't have to watch anymore because it was obvious the people who made it didn't take the time to look up the facts behind a well-understood phenomenon. Beware junk science. There's a lot out of it there. Buy any basic astronomy book including my own "Night Sky with the Naked Eye" for explanations of these simple, often commonsense truths proven decisively long ago.

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thutchens11

October 19, 2018 at 11:57 am

Bob,
I totally agree with you about the abundance of junk science on the internet. When I was in school, we didn't have the internet, we used the library and encyclopedias. I went to junior college at De Anza in Cupertino, CA (A top ranked J.C. nationally) and took all the astronomy courses I could there. I too was turned off immediately by the video but nonetheless, powered thru until the end. In the middle sections it has some interesting renderings of the phases of the moon, eclipses, and seasonal changes. I'm sorry for wasting your time but I really am just curious as to how observable phenomenon are so easily dismissed by the mainstream scientific community as junk science and unworthy of contemplation. I try to approach any questions I may have on a certain topic from both sides, playing devil's advocate if you will. I try and rule out contradictory things and just look at the facts. Facts can not be disputed. By brushing the video off as bunk, you missed some of the most burning questions I still have about the place we all inhabit. I would really like to discuss this further with you. I have a ton more questions but don't think this is the proper outlet to discuss them. Do you have an email address I can send you my questions and concerns to?

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Bob King

October 19, 2018 at 2:29 pm

Thutchens,

I figure time is a precious commodity. If in 3 minutes I can see that the video makers didn't do even the most basic fact-checking then it's difficult for me to rationalize continuing, especially for 25 minutes. When someone misleads would-be information seekers such as yourself about a simple and thoroughly proven concept, they sacrifice their credibility. There's too much good and accurate information out there! If you want to boil down what you would like to know into a few questions, I will try my best to answer them.

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thutchens11

October 20, 2018 at 5:47 am

I will try and come up with a concise list over the weekend, take care and enjoy this great fall weather!

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Bob King

October 20, 2018 at 9:53 am

Thutchens,
Sounds good. And I'm enjoying the fall weather with a morning that began with blizzard-like, blowing snow and now has turned sunny!

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thutchens11

October 19, 2018 at 7:36 am

Great Article Bob

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David

October 19, 2018 at 5:22 pm

This is one of the most interesting articles I have ever read here and on other science sites. Part of it is because of the subject of observing the Earth from the moon. But the detail, images, and animations in this article are marvelous! Congratulations to the author.

I was privileged to spend some time with Eugene Cernan in the early 1990’s. (We worked for the same employer, Digital Equipment Corporation.) I remember being drawn into his description of the experience of being on the moon, and of looking back at the Earth. He got a far away look, like he was revisiting those scenes in his mind. He had the ability to take you along with him. This article brings back those memories.

I’ll be reading your other articles, but guess where I will be on International Observe the Moon Night? Outside!

Thank you, Bob!

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Bob King

October 19, 2018 at 6:51 pm

Hi David,

Really kind of you to say — thanks so much! And I enjoyed hearing about your time with Eugene Cernan. Talk about a "faraway look." I can just picture him.

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Rod

October 19, 2018 at 10:09 pm

Bob, excellent answers on flat earth *science* questions. The Flat Earth Society Sun and Moon wiki shows both are the same size (32 miles in diameter) and move 3,000 miles above the flat earth disk. If folks study the book of Enoch, the Sun and Moon are declared to be equal in size (Enoch 72:35-37). I observe and document sunspots as reported on spaceweather.com using my trusty 90-mm refractor with white light solar filter. Some sunspot groups hold together and you can track them over 12 days or so moving across the solar disk from W to E, close to the 25+ day rotation period of the Sun. I can walk 32 miles faster than 12 days 🙂 Also flat earth videos of the sun show it shines like a spotlight as it circles the flat earth shining on certain areas as it moves. Stars according to radiation law shine all over because of their surface temperatures, they are not shining as a spotlight does 🙂 You may find many flat earth videos feature a dome firmament above the flat earth connected to the ends of the earth. Again, this astronomy is found in the book of Enoch. All celestial motion then is limited to moving above a flat earth disk and not beyond the ends of the earth 🙂

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Rod

October 20, 2018 at 10:19 am

Bob et al. You made this important comment "He is also incorrect when he writes that the shadow of the Moon during a lunar eclipse is not caused by the Earth. I would take what’s written in this book with a large grain of salt. Thank you for your questions!" My note - Flat earth teachers have the Flat Earth truth #3 video and others about the Moon during total lunar eclipses. Some show videos where stars shine through parts of the Moon during a lunar eclipse. Yes, total lunar eclipses are not caused by the Moon moving through Earth's shadow but some other mechanism while the Moon always moves above the same side of the flat earth disk. Folks with good telescopes - I recommend watching the 4 Galilean moons orbit Jupiter and eclipses that take place there. You can watch Io or Europa move into Jupiter's shadow, grow dim, disappear and several hours later reappear lit up again. Our Moon does the same thing here at Full Moon when it enters earth's shadow, grows dim and brightens up again later when it departs earth's shadow. Flat earth arguments can be a hole without a bottom that some on the Internet today fall through so be careful.

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Bob King

October 20, 2018 at 11:10 am

Rod,
I really appreciate your comments here. The Jupiter moons analogy is a good one for those looking to understand lunar eclipses.

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Rod

October 20, 2018 at 11:41 am

Thanks Bob. Using my telescopes, I do not see the 4 Galilean moons moving above a 2D, flat Jupiter 🙂 They are orbiting a spherical Jupiter. I strongly suspect our Moon does the same thing here too, orbit a spherical earth 🙂

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Rod

October 22, 2018 at 8:55 am

Bob et al. I observed a few Orionid meteors early this morning near 0100 EDT. A note from my stargazing log about observing the Moon: "The Moon made it difficult to view fainter meteors if they passed overhead. At 0100 EDT, the Moon was near altitude 39 degrees and 217 degrees azimuth for my location in Pisces close to the ecliptic. Perigee is 31-Oct-18 at 2000 UT or 1600 EDT. The Moon will be 370204 km distant from Earth. This morning while viewing, the Moon was 389874 km according to Virtual Moon Atlas. The arcminute size was 30.65 arcseconds and at perigee, the Moon will be 32 arcminute, 17 arcsecond size (32.2833 arcminute). Telescopes using calibrated imaging can show and document these small angular size changes visible that support the Moon orbits the earth in an elliptical orbit about a spherical earth that rotates or spins on an axis. The October issue of Sky & Telescope on page 42 shows lunar perigee and apogee for the month of October 2018. Software like Virtual Moon Atlas or Starry Night Orion SE also shows these lunar changes."

Folks using telescopes can observe and test flat earth claims about the Moon presented on YouTube videos - it is easy and demonstrates how wrong flat earth teaching is about the Moon.

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Peter Wilson

October 22, 2018 at 11:00 am

Make Earth Flat Again. The music puts you in the mood; the graphics are eye-catching; and the narrator's glib reassurances are reassuring. What's not to like about it?

On a more serious note: if you're on the Moon during a "full Earth," the lunar landscape will be bathed in an eerie blue glow. You can see this with a moderate sized telescope, 3 - 6 days after the new Moon, by using high-magnification, and putting the lighted portion of the Moon out of the field-of-view. The surface of the Moon is normally completely colorless; seeing the blue tinge to the landscape is quite memorable.

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Bob King

October 22, 2018 at 2:17 pm

Hi Peter,
Yes, indeed it is! I've seen that hue before, and it's especially striking in binoculars. I mentioned it in the article and wonder just how obvious the tint would be. Subtle but noticeable is my hunch.

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Zé-De Boni

October 25, 2018 at 7:51 am

Late in the discussion, I give you my compliments on your great demonstration of the qualities every educator must have: patience, precise answers to all questions, no matter how absurd they look.
Despite this is an elementary topic, it is a wonderful example on the value of Science. Surely, Thutchens and all the Flat Earth Society people are intelligent, as Enoch was much more than many present days scientists. The difference comes from the scientific thinking and method. Someone may be lured by beautiful, romantic explanations that look logic. Indeed they are logic until you consider the premises. We are sitting on the top of a mountain with hundreds of years of observations, research, math calculations, reasoning and debates, from which we are not allowed to discard information when we look for explanations, risking to fall in the abyss of ignorance.
Quite funny proof of such ignorance is to notice people spreading those outdated theories through a system that uses man made satellites orbiting the Earth.

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Rod

October 25, 2018 at 4:02 pm

Ze-De Boni, some good comments about science here and flat earth teaching throwing much of science out. If you watch enough flat earth videos and teaching, they are all geocentric where the earth is a flat disk shape, immovable, and does not rotate. Q: What law(s) of science show the Earth is immovable, flat disk shape, does not rotate on an axis and all celestial motion is geocentric above a flat earth? Just look at flat earth teaching on our Moon. Q: What law(s) of science describe our Moon moving below a dome firmament above an immovable, non-rotating flat earth always facing the same flat side while the 4 Galilean moons clearly do not move around Jupiter like this? Just use a telescope please and observe the difference 🙂

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AB

October 29, 2018 at 1:10 am

Very interesting article and cool animations. Thanks for creating it!

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chrrev

June 18, 2019 at 1:55 am

I was wondering how one can reconcile the size of the Earth as seen in this photo from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter of October 2015 with that of the Apollo missions and for that matter the size shown in Stellarium.... THat is a total discrepancy.... Anyone can elaborate on that?

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Roland

August 11, 2019 at 11:41 am

Dear Bob,

Thank you very much for this article. I have been afraid to be alone with this „crazy“ idea wanting a live cast seeing Earth from moon.
If I was telling someone about this idea, I often heard: what is the benefit for a sponsor of such a project? And in fact, there are „better“ places for scientifically observing our home world as NASA-Experts pointed out: https://www.quora.com/In-the-nearly-60-years-of-its-existence-why-hasnt-NASA-put-a-video-camera-on-the-moon-so-we-could-have-24-7-live-video-of-the-Earth/answer/Glenn-Rager?ch=3&share=5e917b53&srid=SONYj

The Core purpose of a project like that would not be scientific. I would call it an Art project, more like a painting. In modern times we have multimedia art, and this project would be a very sophisticated and expensive piece of art.

I am about to start crowdfunding for this: http://www.exax.de
I would prefer to go to a polar area, while we might be able to see moons ground floor and earth at the same Time?

But there are a lot of questions we have to clarify before the kick- (lift-) off:
1.) should we go there together with another mission?
If we do so, we might only be able to reach the South Pole, while there will be more traffic going there.
2.) should we try to go on our own to reach my favorite area: the lunar North pole?
3.) shouldn’t we then share this project and take a Telescope with us to observe the northern hemisphere from the top of the Moon?
4.) should we follow earth in a close-up, or show its dancing area in a wider shot, or both?

I think home cinema-systems in the future will be showing live static shots of famous places from all over the world, why shouldn’t there be enough viewers for our stream live from moon?

I hope we get something like this done in our live time!

With best regards
Roland

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