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Moonlight Causes Slight Warming on Earth, Study Finds

March 10, 1995|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Researchers say the light of the full moon causes the Earth to heat up, ever so slightly.

"Moonburn is not a problem," climate expert Robert C. Balling said. Nevertheless, he said, precise measurements by satellites show that every time the moon turns on its full reflected light--the next full moon comes March 16--Earth's temperature rises by .03 degrees Fahrenheit.

A report on the study, by Balling and Randall S. Cerveny, both of Arizona State University, will be published today in the journal Science.

The moon is not creating the light and heat, but is reflecting energy from the sun. From Earth, the full moon seems a gentle, silvery place. But up there, among the lunar craters, the moon in full sun is typically 200 degrees.

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