Society is full of experiences and fables related to the moon. However, few know about the Golden Handle of the moon. This feature can also be spotted by naked eyes on some nights.
The Golden Handle of the moon is basically an effect caused by light on the lunar surface, along the terminator line- the line between the light and dark. Visible a few days before the full moon, the Golden Handle is seen when the high peaks of the lunar Jura mountains are lit by sunlight. They appear as a bright arc, in front of the flat and still-dark plain of lava on the moon- the Bay of Rainbows.
The average distance of the moon from earth is about 3.86 lakh kilometres. The distance varies periodically depending on the movement of the death and the moon.
According to Shashibhushan Pandey of Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) in Nainital, on some days the Jura mountains are visible on the north western portion of the moon. This mountain range spread across 422 kilometres becomes visible on the tenth day of the first fortnight between the new moon day and full moon day. The sun’s light illuminates this mountain and when the light dims, the mountain displays a golden hue. This is why this feature is called the Golden Handle. Pandey said that the Golden Handle is a unique aspect of the moon’s beauty. It is visible only on two nights every month. It was visible on Monday and Tuesday night this time, he added.
Wednesday, 03 June 2020 | Afzal Fauji | Nainital
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