Moon

sketch-1550491668382The moon danced last night

Leaping across the sky

It sang of silver shadows

Falling far and wide

The moon rang with music

Notes of heavenly tunes

Rising and falling

moon bows shining bright

The moon smiled last night

As it travelled overhead

Bathing the world with glimmers

And frosty gauzy white

The moon breathed last night

Cool breezes soft and sweet

Gentle dreaming sighing

Sleep in silent flight.

Stars?

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No, this is a blurry picture of Venus, the Moon and Jupiter. Somewhere nearby was also Mars.

This was the view looking East from our house about 6am this morning.

You can’t see it but the sky was crystal clear and the planets and moon were twinkling behind the tree branches. My camera phone is good in low light levels but it has over exposed this. Add my hand shaking and it is not very clear. However it might make for an interesting painting.

There are various astronomy sites where you can find information about conjunctions if planets. I like the sky at night on the BBC. Also I have spaceweather.com on my mobile so I can see things like comets, auroras and near earth asteroids.

Our little solar system is tiny compared with the Galaxy and then the universe, but its quite an interesting place even so.

Blood moon

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Tonight there is a full lunar eclipse which is when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and the earth casts its shadow on the moon.

As it progresses first there is shadow on one side of the moon. Gradually. Like a solar eclipse the curve of the Earth cuts into the Moon. As it progresses the white light from the sun is cut out by Earth’s shadow until only red light passes through Earth’s atmosphere and the Moon turns orangey red. Then the Moon starts to pull out of the shadow and gradually returns to normal

Tonight the moon is at its closest approach to earth so it is known as a super moon.

As a matter of interest I decided to try and draw what a flat earth would look like…. It would cast a flat shadow.. When it was fully eclipsed the moon would appear to be cut in half. Possibly by a red line? Other effects of a flat earth would be daylight all over the upper side then darkness all over the upper side as we tumbled through space. Also what is on the underside and is there a Trumpesque wall round the edge to keep the water in? I recently read an article about gravity. On a flat earth the people on the edge would be lying down as the gravity would be pulling everyone towards the centre of the disc……

Anyway enough rambling

X

When the sun sets

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The sun was setting and the sky turned pink at spode today. I looked up and saw the moon. A tiny bit bigger than half moon and I realised that you could work out where the sun was setting. Basically imagine you were shining a torch on a ball. If the torch was directly to the side if the ball the ball would be exactly half light and 🌗 half dark  Now if the torch was lower but shining directly on the ball it would be half light and half dark but tipped at an angle depending how low below the horizon the torch (or ☀ sun) was. Now imagine if the torch was level but was shining slightly to the side of the moon nearest us? Then the line between light and dark would shift and curve. The line shifts every night till full moon, then as it passes full moon the shadow starts to get cast on the other side. This leads to the understanding that when we get an eclipse the Earth gets directly between the Moon and the Sun… . Oh I know all of this is simple, but I’d never actually thought it out for myself……

P.S. now 5 hours later the angle of the moon is tipped up so that the curve is on a slant … so the sun is clearly lower down and the moon has moved. .but it also shows the world is rotating too…

Tide

Time and tide wait for no man

Tidal reef,

High tide……

Why tide?

The Moon pulls on the Earth and the Earth pulls on the Moon. They are gravitationally linked so that one face of the Moon always faces us and the water in our oceans is attracted upwards towards it by its gravity. On the other side of the world there is also a rise in the waters because there is less gravitational pull on the oceans because they are futher away from the moon…..

Why high tides?

The water is pulled up so far by the moon, but as water flows inwards towards the land as the tide comes in it can also rise further if it is pushing into a narrowing area such as a gap between two islands or into the narrowing channel of a river or stream. In this case sometimes the water can overtop the banks if it is a particularly high tide, such as a spring tide. The water will rise higher if it is forced into the estuary by wind as well as tidal forces.

One third of the world’s population live on various coast lines around the world. If the world continues to warm up then these people will be at risk from the rising tides caused by global warming. Many countries have built costal defenses but these are being damaged every year during stormy weather. Replacing the damaged protective barriers is being abandoned in some places as not cost effective and some costal salt marshes are being recreated to protect the land.

Visiting the Moon

Today we visited the museum of the Moon, an art installation which is on till tomorrow. We got in free but there have been events there that you had to pay for.

The Moon is a huge inflated sphere, a balloon, hung from the ceiling of the Kings Hall in Stoke-upon-trent, part of Stoke’s town hall.

I’m afraid I didn’t get the details of the artist who made it, but it is very beautiful. The Moon is fully rendered with all its craters and mare (or seas). The seas are actually flattened areas where magma or lava has welled up from the interior and flowed out across the Moon’s surface. They are caused because of the speed of impact from asteroids and meteors hitting the Moon, the energy of momentum is converted into kinetic, heat, energy.

But thats the side we see, because the Moon is tidally locked with us, so the face we see is always pointed towards the Earth. If you observe the Moon over time it swings and sways so you can see slightly more than 50% of the Moon but we never see the back. The sides, top and bottom is squashed up so its not easy to distinguish what is visible.

So walking around the installation you can see things you might only have seen in blurry film from the Apollo missions almost 50 years ago. Huge craters where impacts must have shook the Moon to its core. You realise how much more scarred and cratered the dark side of the Moon is. Pitted and dented, the back of it has been impacted over millennia.

The Moon has also slowed the Earths spin which is why when humans are shut away in dark caves to experiment with our body clocks, we think a day ends after 23 hours or so. That is because as we evolved over millions of years the Moon was orbiting the Earth closer to us, and as it moved away gradually  (less than a centimetre a year?) it slowed the Earths’ spin to 24 hours a day.

At the moment the Sun can be eclipsed by the Moon. It just happens that the Moon is 400 times closer to us than the Sun and 400 times smaller. So the Moon appears to be exactly the right size to cover the Sun when there is an eclipse. As time goes by the Moon will move further out and “perfect” eclipses will end. Finally the Moon will break away from the Earth. When that happens the Earths rotation will become chaotic. It already spins on an axis that is tipped over at about 23°. If the Moon flys off into space its gravity will no longer help hold the Earth steady. Who knows we could end up tipped right over.

I’m not an expert so my figures might not be completely accurate. If you want more information please check out Astronomy websites.

The Museum of the Moon is an installation run be Appetite. They help produce various arts projects over the year. We also heard diary entries from the First world war, and a dance performance called “in Flanders feilds.”

I drew the Moon because my camera isn’t good in low light levels. The juxtaposition of the Moon installation and the old Kings Hall made for a marvellous and eerie afternoon out.