Hot Topic: The Moon

Full Moon photo
Isn’t she pretty?

So everyone’s talking about the Moon. Why? Well, in case you didn’t already know, July 20 is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s Moon Landing.

Yup, it’s been 50 years since humans first set foot on the Moon. It’s estimated that about 650 million people around the world watched the historic landing on July 20, 1969. I wasn’t one of those people since I wasn’t alive. Not even the teeny-tiniest of thoughts in my mom’s head yet! But earlier this summer I got the chance to see Apollo 11: First Steps Edition at the Ontario Science Centre (one of my favourite places to visit, by the way). And wow. Just wow. Watching that film is basically like getting to be there on that famous day in 1969. The footage is incredible and made me very emotional. I cried, you guys. Big fat tears. So yeah, go see it if you can!

Anyway, what new thing did I discover today about our planet’s 4.6-billion-year-old natural satellite?

Sure, the Moon is bright and all. But it is definitely not as bright as the Sun. Astronomers have actually measured the brightness (of course they have!) with a system called magnitudes. This type of math is far too complicated for this little brain of mine to fully grasp, but thankfully the super-smart experts have explained their findings in more simple terms for us common yet curious folk. They say that the Sun is 398,110 times brighter than the Moon.

So it would take almost 400,000 full moons to equal the brightness of the Sun? Yes. But you could never fit that many full moons in our sky. Obviously. The super-smart experts told me that, too.