(InOMN) International Observe the Moon Night was the first in the Philippines, and an astounding success at the least. Held at the SM MOA ground, we offer public showing on the moon using our mounted astronomical refractive scopes. There were five scopes mounted, including the Cutting Edge's Celestron unit, so public need not wait long lines to view the lunar marvel.
InOMN is an astronomy outreach foundation that follows NASA's first celebration of their historic missions of the moon, including one featured at International Year of Astronomy last 2009. Thanks to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite that made all the lunar missions a breeze.
International astronomical community is forging a partnership with NASA and their centers to bring excitement in the observation of the Earth's closest neighbor in space.
It was also a perfect time to highlight the significance of the Moon's role in the formation of the evolutionary process of life as we know it. Let me reiterate what i have discussed to the public about the Moon's history:
4.6billion years ago, the Earth was too young, it's 60% from its completion period, and is densely hot that it's virtually covered by a mantle of hot magma. 30million years later, a planetary embryo(named Theia) that is about the size of Mars loitered around the Earth's 'lagrange point.' And because Theia is gaining mass, the gravitational stability to keep the two worlds apart has become insufficient, thus Theia collided with the Earth and the exploding debris began shooting upward into the Earth's orbital plane, binding with the remaining nucleus of Theia in an accretion process and ultimately became our Moon.
Our Moon was very young then. And was too close to the Earth, it was about 30,000km away, but right now the Moon is about 360,000km to 400,000km depending if it's perigee or apogee. It was too close that when you look at it in the night sky it was about 20 times larger than what it is today. Creepy huh. The tidal bulge creates ocean tides as large as 1km in vertical length. The Earth by that time barely had a land mass. Tides played vital role because without it, some biochemical processes and other building blocks of life would not have been possible. It sends chemical material into the shallow grounds where sedimentary grains binds with the biofilms of microorganisms, particularly the cyanobacteria(blue green algae). And we know that cyanobacteria accounts 30% of the Earth's entire photosynthetic production.
700million years later, life was formed. Single celled protozoans to phylum chordata now existed.
I was asked by one of the public viewers if it's true that the Moon will be lost from our midst. His exact statement was: "Sir, totoo po bang mawawala yung Moon sa atin?"
My answer to the chagrin of everyone: The moon is receding away from Earth at 1.5inches per year with a gravimetric drag that will slow down the Earth's rotation. Two existing theories indicate that Moon will either wander into he vastness of space or by that time, the Sun will become a red giant with a coronal atmosphere that would engulf the inner planets and will play a tug of war between the Earth's gravitational pull, ultimately tearing the Moon apart. And the Moon's debris will fall back into the Mother Earth, where it was once came from.
InOMN(Philippines) will also be featured at QTV's The Beat, with President James Kevin Ty on deck. Stay tuned.
For those who will be joining us in our future events, I will post the details here. Once you're on the site, you can catch us with our astronomer badge and IDs. Feel free to approach us and ask questions.