The Moon

I haven’t seen the moon yet. Here’s how that works [and I hope that any professional astronomers reading this will correct me]. The moon and the sun are roughly in the same plane, as seen from earth, and so follow roughly the same path. “Roughly” to the extent that we don’t have an eclipse every time they pass.

Here at the South Pole [and that other pole] the sun rises at the Spring equinox, gets to its maximum height of 23.5 degrees at the Summer solstice, and then sets at the Autumn equinox. Then it gets dark, with nothing but the moon, stars, and aurora for sky. I hear it’s amazing, and if I can find some way to be here for the winter, I just may.

The moon does pretty much the same thing on a lunar-monthly cycle. It rises 90 degrees counter-clockwise from the sun as a half-moon, spirals up in the sky to about 23.5 degrees, and then spirals down 90 degrees clockwise from the sun as a half-moon. This happens about every 28.25 days. In the Summer, like now, when it’s at the top of its cycle it’s a New Moon. Practically, what that means for my ability to see it is that it rises on a cloudy horizon on a very bright day, gets fainter and fainter for 7 days until it’s New, than waxes for 7 more days back to the horizon, where it’s likely to be cloudy again.

I’ve asked the meteorology folks to keep a weather-eye out for the moon, to give me a chance to see it. I’ll keep you informed.

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2 responses to “The Moon

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