[Home] [How to Measure Your Beliefs] [The Man-Made Church] [Miscellaneous]

[Home]>[Miscellaneous]>[8. Astronomy]>[1. Astronomical questions and answers]>[Astronomical question and answer 252]

Previous webpage:           251
To the end of this webpage: End
Next webpage:               253


Astronomical question and answer 252


Frank L. Preuss


How does the moon change?


Today I observed the moon.

It is 2 days before full moon and it is shortly before sunset.

The sun stands close above the horizon in the west and the moon stands in the east, high above the horizon. The moon disc is still not complete; something is missing at the bottom. The whole sky is cloudless.

The moon is white and the sky is blue and the spots on the moon have about the same colour as the sky, darker, going into grey.

But shortly after sunset the situation changes quite fast. The sky gets darker and the moon gets brighter. Instead being an illuminated body, the moon starts to become an illuminating body.

What has changed with the moon?

Actually nothing has changed with the moon.

The moon is still getting illuminated by the sun and the earth has no influence on this. The relationship of these two celestial bodies to one another is not touched by the sunset.

What has changed is our view upon the moon.

And this change is based on the change in the atmosphere. The atmosphere has changed. It is no longer illuminated by the sunlight. It is no longer something what has illuminating power itself, and as a result over-illuminates most of the celestial bodies and makes them invisible as a result. When the illumination of the atmosphere stops, it becomes more transparent for us. We can now also see all less illuminated objects outside of it.

Strictly speaking the moon therefore does not change at all. It is our atmosphere, which does it.

Next morning, a couple of hours before sunrise, I have again observed the moon, as it stands above the horizon in the west.

It is now one day before full moon and the moon now seems to show already the full disc. The sky still seems to be cloudless. The moon has therefore noticeably waxed in one night.

What was at the bottom of the moon last evening is this morning at the top with the moon; it has therefore in the course of the night turned around itself. Also the darker spots of the moon make it possible to distinguish between "below" and "at the top", something that applies to the moon only, for that is not so with the sun, there are no possibilities to distinguish, since the disc of the sun has no differences at the surface.

Two stars are close to the moon. One is brighter than the other. That is the disadvantage, when one lives in a city with lights; one sees so few stars that one cannot find out which stars they are, what their name is or to which constellation they belong.

The further the moon approaches the horizon the more it changes its colour, gets redder.

The place at the horizon where the moon sets differs by 45 degrees from that place where the sun had set. Yesterday evening the moon had also risen about 45 degrees away from the sunrise.

The moon has now set, so about one hour before sunrise. Until the end it was quite clearly visible.

It is now winter. The sun was 10 hours above and 14 hours below the horizon and has orbited a horizontal angle from 126, of 360, degrees. The moon was 11 hours above and 13 hours below the horizon, and has 208, of 360, degrees orbited, measured horizontally.


This is the end of "Astronomical question and answer 252"
To the German version of this chapter: Astronomische Frage und Antwort 252



Previous webpage:                 251    
To the beginning of this webpage: Beginning
Next webpage:                     253

[Home]>[Miscellaneous]>[8. Astronomy]>[1. Astronomical questions and answers]>[Astronomical question and answer 252]

[Home] [How to Measure Your Beliefs] [The Man-Made Church] [Miscellaneous]

The address of this webpage is: