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If the moon's surface were like a perfectly smooth billiard ball, its surface brightness would be the same all over.

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In such a case, it would indeed appear half as bright. But the moon has a very rough topography. Also, the moon's face is splotched with dark regions. The end result is that at first quarter, the moon appears only one eleventh as bright as when it's full. The moon is actually a little brighter at first quarter than at last quarter, since at that phase some parts of the moon reflect sunlight better than others. Believe it or not, the moon is half as bright as a full moon about 2. Even though about 95 percent of the moon is illuminated at this time, and to most casual observers it might still look like a "full" moon, its brightness is roughly 0.

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However, they are opposite to the lunar phases that we see from the Earth. It's a full Earth when it's new moon for us; last-quarter Earth when we're seeing a first-quarter moon; a crescent Earth when we're seeing a gibbous moon, and when the Earth is at new phase we're seeing a full moon. From any spot on the moon except on the far side, where you cannot see the Earth , the Earth would always be in the same place in the sky. From the moon, our Earth appears nearly four times larger than a full moon appears to us, and — depending on the state of our atmosphere — shines anywhere from 45 to times brighter than a full moon.

So when a full or nearly full Earth appears in the lunar sky , it illuminates the surrounding lunar landscape with a bluish-gray glow. From here on the Earth, we can see that glow when the moon appears to us as a crescent; sunlight illuminates but a sliver of the moon, while the rest of its outline is dimly visible by virtue of earthlight. Leonardo da Vinci was the first to figure out what that eerie glow appearing on the moon really was. Phases aren't the only things that are seen in reverse from the moon. An eclipse of the moon for us is an eclipse of the sun from the moon.

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In this case, the disk of the Earth appears to block out the sun. If it completely blocks the sun, a narrow ring of light surrounds the dark disk of the Earth; our atmosphere backlighted by the sun. The ring appears to have a ruddy hue, since it's the combined light of all the sunrises and sunsets occurring at that particular moment.

That's why during a total lunar eclipse, the moon takes on a ruddy or coppery glow. When a total eclipse of the sun is taking place here on Earth, an observer on the moon can watch over the course of two or three hours as a small, distinct patch of darkness works its way slowly across the surface of the Earth. It's the moon's dark shadow, called the umbra, that falls on the Earth, but unlike in a lunar eclipse, where the moon can be completely engulfed by the Earth's shadow, the moon's shadow is less than a couple of hundred miles wide when it touches the Earth, appearing only as a dark blotch.

The lunar craters were formed by asteroids and comets that collided with the moon. These are named for scholars, scientists, artists and explorers. For example, Copernicus Crater is named for Nicolaus Copernicus, a Polish astronomer who realized in the s that the planets move about the sun. Archimedes Crater is named for the Greek mathematician Archimedes, who made many mathematical discoveries in the third century B. The custom of applying personal names to the lunar formations began in with Michael van Langren, an engineer in Brussels who named the moon's principal features after kings and great people on the Earth.

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On his lunar map he named the largest lunar plain now known as Oceanus Procellarum after his patron, Phillip IV of Spain. But just six years later, Giovanni Battista Riccioli of Bologna completed his own great lunar map, which removed the names bestowed by Van Langren and instead derived names chiefly from those of famous astronomers — the basis of the system which continues to this day. In , the British Astronomical Association issued a catalog of officially named lunar formations, "Who's Who on the Moon," listing the names of all formations adopted by the International Astronomical Union.

Today the IAU continues to decide the names for craters on our moon, along with names for all astronomical objects. The IAU organizes the naming of each particular celestial feature around a particular theme. The names of craters now tend to fall into two groups. Typically, moon craters have been named for deceased scientists, scholars, explorers, and artists who've become known for their contributions to their respective fields.

The craters around the Apollo crater and the Mare Moscoviense are to be named after deceased American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts. If you survey the Internet for temperature data on the moon, you're going to run into quite a bit of confusion.

There's little consistency even within a given website in which temperature scale is quoted: The temperature at the lunar equator ranges from an extremely low minus degrees F minus degrees C at night to a very high degrees F degrees C in the daytime. At the end of the process, Mars One wants six groups of four astronauts to train for the mission. The Dutch not-for-profit organisation is raising money any way it can. That means broadcasting rights, sponsorship deals, crowd-funding, donations from philanthropists, and licensing intellectual property rights from inventions made along the way.

The first humans are not scheduled to blast off for Mars until But plenty of missions are planned beforehand to do vital groundwork. In , a lander would be sent to the planet as a trial-run for technologies that the real mission will need.

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That will be accompanied by a communications satellite to beam messages back and forth. Two years after that, in , six cargo missions head off for Mars. They include another rover, two living units and two life support units. These land near the first rover, which tows them into position and sets up solar panels to power the units.


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The life support unit is meant to produce a breathable atmosphere in the habitat, 3, litres of water, and kg of oxygen kept in storage. Mars One will contract a rocket manufacturer to build them a rocket. That could be Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, or another company. The crew then launch into Earth orbit themselves, climb into the waiting Mars spacecraft, and head off for their destination.


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  7. The Mars lander module detaches from the spacecraft and descends to the surface. Once down, the crew in their Mars suits are picked up by one of the rovers and taken to the habitat. It will take them a good while to acclimatise to the gravity on Mars. Their first tasks are to deploy more solar panels, and start their efforts to grow food on Mars.

    The second Mars One crew is planned for take off in , for arrival the following year.