As we look to the evening sky we see the moon and stars above. There are so many stories about the star constellations but doesn’t seem to be as much about the moon. We thought we would share some interesting folklore and facts about the moon.
Did you ever hear the saying, “Once in a Blue Moon”? Is it just a saying? Is there some actual meaning to it? Well, a blue moon does happen but it is not really blue. This rare circumstance comes about when a month happens with two full moons in it, the second one is called a Blue Moon. As you can imagine this doesn’t happen very often.
Have you ever heard of the harvest moon? Now what does this mean? A harvest moon is a full moon that occurs in September on the first day of Autumn. As you can imagine this occurrence also doesn’t happen very often.
It seems from the beginning of time, the moon has been part of our existence. Ancient art work and the hieroglyphics have all portrayed the importance of the moon. In many cultures a special activity only happens on a full moon.
The moon orbits around our earth every 29 ½ days at an average speed of 2300 miles per hour. The speed of the moon fluctuates at different points due to its elliptical path. With no air on the moon when it faces the sun the temperature rises to 243 degrees and on the other side that is dark, the temperature plunges to a minus 272 degrees. The size of the moon covers 9.4 billion acres. That amounts to about ¼ the size of earth.
A full moon occurs when the moon is on the other side of the earth from the sun. A new moon is when it is between the sun and the earth. Both of these are classified as lunar phases.
Here in the northwest, one of the biggest influences on our lives is the ocean tides. To really enjoy the beach, we want the tide to be out so we can look for shells, go beach walking, fly a kite or dig for clams. The fishermen want the tide to be in to allow for more water to flow into the harbor. The rise and fall of sea levels are caused by the gravitational pull of both the moon and sun along with the rotation of the Earth. The direction that the Earth rotates on its axis is the same way the moon moves around the earth. In most areas there are two high tides and two low tides every day.
When Neil Armstrong and other astronauts walked on the moon, they left footprints that on earth would gradually disappear. On the moon they could be there forever since there is no erosion caused by wind and water. While on the moon astronaut Alan Shepard was able to hit a golf ball about half a mile. A historic plaque was left on the moon by Apollo 11 astronauts to commemorate their visit. It says: Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon The Moon July 1969AD. We Come In Peace For All Mankind”.The statement of Peace for All Mankind seems to be an appropriate goal for all of us to reach for in our lives.