This Friday the 13th marks a special occasion and that is the harvest moon, though this year it will actually be what experts call a harvest micro moon.
The harvest moon generally occurs near the Fall equinox and is a result when the moonrise comes soon after sunset giving its orange hue. This results in an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, which was a traditional aide to farmers and crews harvesting their summer-grown crops.
The micro moon is when a full moon happens at the point when it is the farthest from Earth. Mix the two and people in the United States will see an amazing spectacle that has not been seen in well over 19 years. With the next similar occur ace only happening in 2049.
In this months edition of Nature Astronomy, scientists recently discovered a new planet K2-18b. K2-18b is an exoplanet, meaning it resides in another solar system. It is about 110 light-years away and about 8 times the size of our planet.
What’s unique about K2-18b unlike other exoplanets, is that it lives in a habitual zone, meaning its in the prime distance from it’s star to be able to sustain life. Recently the Hubble Space Telescope revealed that the atmosphere on K2-18b contains water molecules in the form of cloud vapor, a good indication of it being able to support life.
No one knows what K2-18b looks like, but experts speculate that it could be similar in style to that of our own planet but with a different molecule composition. This will all be re-verified when the James Webb Space Telescope launches in 2021, which will have better and more accurate means of verifying such discoveries.