NASA Wishes All a Happy Lunar New Year with Photo From the ISS

by Megan Molseed

The Lunar New Year is upon us, and NASA shared one of the best photos to mark the moment. Of course, NASA’s Instagram picture of the New Moon is probably one of the best in existence. I mean, the space agency does have the best view in the house from the International Space Station. A fact that we can all clearly see from a January 31 Instagram post.

“Happy Lunar New Year to all those who celebrate,” NASA writes in the Monday evening Instagram post. NASA takes the message a little further by sharing some awesome lunar emojis – including one of a new moon.

Happy Lunar New Year!

“Lunar New Year celebrations continue from the first new moon of the lunar calendar,” NASA adds in the message alongside the breathtaking post. The space agency went on to note that, this year, the big day lands on February 1. And, NASA adds in the message, the Lunar New Year celebration comes to an end on the 15th day of the Lunar Year during the Lantern Festival.

NASA’s Lunar New Year post includes a breathtaking photograph of the new moon taken from the International Space Station. It is truly a magnificent sight as the first new moon of 2022 rises over the Indian Ocean.

“Here we have a slim crescent moon rising above the Indian Ocean, as seen from the @ISS,” the Instagram post notes. 

More Than ‘Just a Pretty Face’

“Our Moon is not just a pretty face,” the Insta message notes, adding that, despite it being literally “out of this world,” the moon has an important job here on Earth.

“It also helps regulate Earth’s tides, and indirectly moderates our climate,” the message notes.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a NASA Instagram post without some other interesting space facts. And, since the moon is the topic of the day as the Lunar New Year begins, NASA saw the perfect opportunity to share a recent theory of how the beautiful lunar object formed in the first place.

NASA’s Out-Of-This-World Theory

“The leading theory of how our Moon formed is that a Mars-sized object impacted Earth around 4.5 billion years ago,” NASA shares on the Insta post. The space agency also notes that this object had a major effect on earth – and beyond.

According to the post, the impact of the large object ultimately caused “a massive chunk of debris to form.” While this theory suggests the moon may have originated in an event connected to the Earth, NASA does note that there is quite a distance between Earth and the moon.

“The Moon is an average of 238,855 miles (384,400 kilometers) away from Earth,” the Monday evening post notes. “Around 30 Earth-sized planets could fit between us and our satellite companion.”