September 30, 2022 #ChileDiverse

Curiosities between Chile and the Moon

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On International Moon Observation Day, we could not help but look for the relationship that Chile -the country with the greatest astronomical observation capacity in the world- has with this natural satellite; but beyond the interesting data obtained by its telescopes, we find that Chile has curious anecdotes with the Moon that we tell you here.

Since the first civilizations the observation of the Moon has been a very important activity; its different phases have been taken as a reference to establish calendars and human activities. "The moon is our natural satellite, because of it we have tides. For centuries people have sowed and cultivated according to the lunar phases."

says Carolina Agurto, researcher at the U. of Chile, PhD in astrophysics from the U. of Munich, and member of the scientific dissemination group Star Tres. That is the reason why in Chile there are, for example, biodynamic wineries that are guided by the Moon to make their premium wines, such as Koyle, Emiliana, Matetic, among several others.

We all like to look at the moon and Chile is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to observe it, with about 90% of clear nights a year, the northern skies are an incomparable natural laboratory to study it, so here are the most powerful telescopes in the world with which to discover peculiarities of this star as it is ¼ the size of planet Earth; or that it is 400 times smaller than the sun; or that its surface is smaller than Asia; or that each year moves away from Earth 3.8 centimeters. But the relationship between the Moon and our country is not only related to its observatories...

Does the Moon belong to a Chilean?
When the Apollo 11 mission reached the Moon, it already had an owner: a Chilean, Jenaro Gajardo Vera, a native of Talca, registered it in his name at a local notary's office.a native of Talca, registered it in his name at a local notary's office, on September 25, 1954. Some time later, in theAmerican newspaper The Evening Independentthe Chilean appeared as "the owner of the Moon", which he reportedly bought for only one dollar. From then on, dozens of international media outlets, such as the BBC Mundocarried this story in their pages.

But the truth is that, according to space law, the Moon belongs to no one and to everyone at the same time. Although it is in the name of a Chilean.

Only Chile broadcasted the Moon landing in Latin America
The moment when Neil Armstrong and his crew landed on the Moon was broadcast live for the entire planet. But of all the Latin American countries, the only one that managed to see the feat was Chile, thanks to the Longovilo Satellite Station, and this was possible because the satellite of the international transmission was in the Pacific Ocean.

On Apollo 11 a Chilean radio was heard on Apollo 11
Neil Armstrong, in one of his visits to Chile, said that in the middle of the four-day trip to the Moon, they suddenly intercepted a radio signal in Spanish when they were passing through the Pacific Ocean. The astronaut assured that it was El Conquistador radio and said that he found it "nice and sweet".

In Chile there are pieces of the Moon
The Apollo XI astronauts collected fragments of the Moon when they were there. Two of them ended up in Chile as a way of thanking the country for installing satellite tracking stations in Antofagasta and Peldehue, which contributed to the first moon landing in history. They can be seen at the Natural History Museum and the Frei Family Museum.


Image of Chile