Lunar Eclipse Cal

This Lunar Eclipse Calendar is a listing of all Lunar Eclipses for 2017 & 2018. The calendar below shows the date of each Lunar Eclipse as well as the type of Eclipse and general viewing area. There are basicly 3 types of Lunar Eclipse, Penumbral, Partial and Total Eclipse.

Total Eclipse- Will be visible in Asia, Australia, Pacific and Western North America

Total Eclipse- Will be visible in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

A Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. For this to happen the Sun, Earth, and Moon must be closely aligned with the Moon and the Moon located furthest from the Sun. There are a few different types of Lunar Eclipse that are determined by where the moon is in relationship to the shadow of the Earth.

A Total Eclipse occurs when the moon is completely blocked from the sun. When the Moon is in this location it is in the Umbra region of the Earths Shadow. The Umbra is darkest region of the Earths shadow and recieves little or no solar radiation.

While other types of Lunar Eclipses can be viewed in wide regions of the earth the part of the eclipse that is Total is viewable is a much smaller region. The same can be said for the duration of the Eclipse. An Ecplise can last around 3 hours but the time that it is full is generaly around an hour or less.

A Partial Eclipse occurs when the moon partialy enters the Umbra shadow of the Earth but is no completely blocked from the sun. When the Moon is in this location it is partialy in the Penumbra and partialy in the Umbra on the Earths Shadow. The effect that this type of Eclipse has when located on Earth is that the Moon is partialy shaded on one side. The shaded side of the moon is the darkest part of the earths shadow(Umbra).

Partial Eclipse are generally visiable in a wide area of the earth.

A Penumbra Eclipse occurs when the moon only enters the Penumbra area of the Earths shadow. The Penumbra is a region of the shadow that is not completely obsured from the rays of the sun. This lighter shadow is a result of the relative size of the Sun to the Earth.

This type of Eclipse causes the moon to only darken slightly when viewed from earth and is one of the less dramatic Lunar eclipse.

Next Full Moon

The next full moon – comes in to play the afternoon of November 10 (MST) and there is an air of calm with this full Moon in Taurus.

Every full moon is unique and it is even more so here as the Moon is exhalted in Taurus which is a very strong placement. So this is a time to slow down and savour every moment.

Turn up your sensory radar and go for the experience.

Patience and practicality are always intrinsic to the nature of Taurus.

Sensitivity will come to the forefront. As will warmhearted and affectionate expression of feelings. This channel will open easily today – so just be sure that you are going to still be okay with what you are expressing today, a few days from now.

The day belonging to this Taurus full moon is a great time to explore sensual experiences. Fine food, wine, theatre, artistic works, romantic dinners, good friends and social functions are all in flow with the Taurean energy that comes from this full moon.

You can also expect some old fashioned virtues to emerge in behavior today – stuff made of loyalty, kindness and chilvary.

Taurus provides a grounded feeling for the day. Emotions are more intense and any creative endeavours – art, music, writing will have a special flow to them.

The earth signs Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn will feel the positive feel of this full moon in Taurus. The moon is in harmony with the earth signs today and they should be exploring things that make them feel good.

The fire signs – Leo, Sagittarius and Aries should take the energy here in stride. It is a good time for them to get things accomplished and outline some future plans. Outside of that they need to go with the flow and not push for too much today.

The water signs – Scorpio, Pisces and Cancer will find the earth energy of this next full moon in Taurus a nice complement to their day.

The air signs – Gemini, Libra and Aquarius will find it beneficial to tap into the earth energy of the signs Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn today and experience the earthy perspective of this full moon to experience a different way of looking at things.

So take in this energy of the Taurus moon. Planning and goal setting are always good with a Taurus influence.

Indulge this full moon in Taurus. Have fun with the all of the sensory experiences you can explore with it.

Phases of the Moon – A look at the Night Sky

Lunar Gardening – Gardening By The Moon

Back to Urban-Astrologer Home Page from Next Full Moon

Your email address is totally secure

I promise to use it only to send youAge Old WisdomIn A Modern World

Opportunities – Your Astrological Life Portrait relating to the Perfect Job. Reveals the horoscope factors that most affect you personally when it comes to seeking and finding your own fortune and fulfillment.

A moment to moment picture of when the planets are smiling on you – exactly when luck is on your side.

Solar ReturnAnnual Birthday Horoscope

What does the upcoming year hold for you. Dont let a birthday pass by without looking at your personal astrological Solar Return. Considered a sacred moment and a special time to set the stage for your journey through the next twelve months.

Lunar ReturnPersonal Monthly Forecast

Voted most useful, most informative and most fun! A guide of your personal moon forecast for the month to come.

Time LineA Powerful Forecasting Tool

Lining up planetary events as they affec you from day to day, month to month, in chronological order. You get the lowdown on daily events, you get the monthly wrap-ups and you get the big picture at the same time.

To see our full range of options go to ourAstrology Chartspage.

Copyright © and TM 1988-2015 All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy – Disclaimer and Legal Notice.

Moon Missive The Next Full Moon is thHunters

Our lunar neighbor has inspired stories since the first humans looked up at the sky and saw its gray, cratered face.

Shoot the Moon – Lunar Photography Tips

Impact craters on the Moons surface are so large they can easily be seen from your own backyard.

Shoot the Moon – Lunar Photography Tips

The moon is the most explored body in our solar system besides Earth.

A whimsical list of some favorite Moon songs.

Before astronauts ever landed on the moon, the Soviets and the Americans sent a fleet of robotic spacecraft to scout the way.

Moon Missive: The Next Full Moon is the Hunters Moon

Moonrise over the Syr Darya river, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill IngallsMore

The next full Moon will be early Saturday morning, November 4, 2017, appearing opposite the Sun (in Earth-based longitude) at 1:23 AM EDT.

The Moon will appear full for about three days centered on this time, from Thursday evening through Sunday morning, making this a full Moon weekend.

This is the Hunters Moon, the full Moon after the Harvest Moon. According to the Farmers Almanac, with the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt. Since the harvesters have reaped the fields, hunters can easily see the animals that have come out to glean (and the foxes that have come out to prey on them). The earliest use of the term Hunters Moon cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1710.

The Maine Farmers Almanac first published Indian names for the full Moons in the 1930s. According to this almanac, the Algonquin tribes of what is now the northern and eastern United States named the second full Moon of autumn the Beaver Moon. One interpretation is that mid-fall was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Beaver Moon came from how active the beavers are in this season as they prepare for winter. Other names for this Moon are the Frost or Frosty Moon and the Snow Moon, although these names are also used for the last Moon of fall, usually in December.

In most lunar calendars the months change with the new Moon and the full Moons fall in the middle of the lunar month. This full Moon is the middle of Cheshvan in the Hebrew calendar, the ninth month of the Chinese calendar, and the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar. Kartik Poornima, or the full Moon in the month of Kartik, is celebrated as a Hindu and Jain holy festival. Names include Tripuri Poornima or Tripurari Poornima, after Tripurari, teh foe of the demon Tripurasura. Another name is Dev Diwali or Dev Deepawali – the festival of lights of the gods. In the Islamic calendar the months start with the first viewing of the waxing crescent Moon, a few days after the New Moon. This full Moon is near the middle of Safar, the second month of the year.

As usual, the wearing of suitably celebratory celestial attire is encouraged in honor of the full Moon.

As for other celestial events between now and the full Moon after next:

In mid-autumn the daily periods of sunlight continue to shorten. For the Washington, DC area, at least, the mornings from Wednesday, October 25, to Saturday, November 4, 2017 (the day of the November full Moon), are the darkest mornings of the year with the latest sunrise times. Sunrise on the day of the November full Moon, Saturday, November 4, 2017, will be a full 12 minutes later (in Daylight Savings Time) than the latest winter sunrises in late December and early January (in Standard Time). On the day of the November full Moon, morning twilight will begin at 6:39 AM, sunrise will be at 7:39 AM, the Sun will reach a maximum altitude of 35.5 degrees at 12:51 PM, sunset will be at 6:04 PM, and evening twilight will end at 7:03 PM EDT. If you notice you have a lot of trouble waking up in the morning in late October and early November, this might be the reason (and even if it is not, it provides a plausible excuse for sleeping in…).

The next morning, Sunday, November 5, 2017, at 2 AM EDT, we fall back to 1 AM EST, making the change to Standard Time. Morning twilight will begin at 5:40 AM, sunrise will be at 6:40 AM, the Sun will reach a maximum altitude of 35.2 degrees at 11:51 AM, sunset will be at 5:03 PM, and evening twilight will end at 6:03 PM, all in EST.

The length of a day (as measured for example from noon to noon on a sundial) varies through the year. Around the solstices, the length of a solar day is slight longer than the 24 hour average. The day of the northern hemisphere winter solstice has the shortest period of daylight for the year, but is one of the longest solar days of the year. Because of this, the earliest sunsets of the year occur before the winter solstice, and the latest sunrises of the year (ignoring Daylight Savings Time) occur after the winter solstice. For the Washington, DC area, the earliest sunsets will occur on the 12 days from Friday, December 1, 2017 through Tuesday, December 12, 2017 (rounded to the minute, sunset will be at 4:46 PM EST across these dates). On the day of the December full Moon, Sunday, December 3, 2017, morning twilight will begin at 6:07 AM, sunrise will be at 7:10 AM, the Sun will reach a maximum altitude of 28.9 degrees at 11:58 AM, sunset will be one of these earliest sunset of the year at 4:46 PM, and evening twilight will end at 5:49 PM EST. As a bicycle commuter, I notice when the Sun sets this early. Be sure to check your lights before your ride.

On the evening of the November full Moon, the planet Mercury will be visible in the south-southwest about 30 minutes after sunset but will have set by the time evening twilight ends. When twilight ends, the planet Saturn will appear about 14 degrees above the horizon in the southwest. The trio of bright stars called the Summer Triangle will appear nearly directly overhead. The Summer Triangle is not a constellation but consists of the three brightest stars from three different constellations. Nearly directly overhead will be Deneb, the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus the Swan; to the west-northwest will be Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra the Harp; and to the south-southwest will be Altair, the brightest star in the constellation Aquila the Eagle. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where it is dark enough to see the Milky Way, our home galaxy will appear stretched directly overhead from southwest to northeast. Later in November Mercury will be high enough to be just on the horizon as evening twilight ends, and Saturn will appear to shift gradually towards Mercury. By the evening of the December full Moon, as evening twilight ends, Saturn and Mercury will be setting next to each other in the west-southwest.

On the morning of the November full Moon, as morning twilight begins, the planet Mars will appear about 21 degrees above the horizon in the east-southeast. The planet Venus will appear brighter than Mars but only about 4 degrees above the horizon (making it harder to see, unless you have a clear view unobstructed by hills, trees, or buildings). The bright star to the right of Venus will be Spica. The bright stars of the local arm of our galaxy (including the constellation Orion) will appear spread across the sky in the southwest. The bright planet Jupiter will rise about 25 minutes before sunrise; Jupiter will begin rising as morning twilight begins around Veterans Day, appearing very near Venus.

As the month progresses, bright Venus will appear to shift back towards the eastern horizon and towards Jupiter, while Mars will appear to shift higher in the morning sky. The bright stars of our galaxys local arm will appear to shift towards the west. By the morning of the December full Moon, as morning twilight begins, Jupiter will appear about 15 degrees above the southeast horizon, and Mars will appear near the bright star Spica about 28 degrees above the southeast horizon. Venus will not rise until about 19 minutes after morning twilight begins, but will still be bright enough to be seen if you have a clear view of the horizon in the east-southeast.

There are several moderate meteor showers during this lunar month (the South Taurids, the North Taurids, and the Leonids). These have peak rates that average 5 to 20 meteors per hour (under good viewing conditions), although sometimes these showers surprise us with higher rates. This year moonlight will interfere with peaks of both of the Taurid showers but not with the Leonids. For those of us who have to travel far to get away from city lights, our best bet is to wait for the Geminid meteor shower in December, which can have peak rates of 120 meteors per hour.

Even though they usually are not visible, I include in these Moon missives information about Near Earth Objects (mostly asteroids) that pass the Earth within about 10 lunar distances, because I find it interesting that we have discovered so many. On Wednesday afternoon, November 1, 2017 at 3:45 PM EDT (2017-Nov-01 19:45 UTC), Near Earth Object (2017 UD43), between 6 and 12 meters (18 to 41 feet) in diameter, will pass the Earth at 4.7 lunar distances, traveling at 8.82 kilometers per second (19,735 miles per hour).

In early November, as dawn is breaking, low on the horizon in the east-southeast, the bright star Spica will appear to the right of the bright planet Venus. They will appear at their closest the morning of Thursday, November 2, 2017, about 3.5 degrees apart. The planet above Venus and Spica will be Mars. For the Washington, DC area, Venus will rise at 6:13 AM, Spica will rise at 6:20 AM, and morning twilight will begin at 6:37 AM EDT, when Venus will be about 4 degrees above the horizon.

As mentioned above, the next full Moon will be early Saturday morning, November 4, 2017.

For the Washington, DC area, at least, Saturday morning, November 4, 2017, will be the latest sunrise of the year, with the Sun rising at 7:39 AM EDT. Sunrise (in daylight savings time) will be a full 12 minutes later than the latest sunrises (in standard time) in late December and early January. The next day, dont forget to fall back one hour to Eastern Standard Time.

On Sunday morning, November 5, 2017at about 1:03 AM EST (2017-Nov-05 06:03 UTC with 8 minutes uncertainty), Near Earth Object (2017 US7), between 10 and 23 meters (33 to 74 feet) in diameter, will pass the Earth at between 7.0 and 7.1 lunar distances (nominally 7.1), traveling at 8.77 kilometers per second (19,625 miles per hour).

On Sunday morning, November 5, 2017at 6:03 AM EST (2017-Nov-05 11:03 UTC), Near Earth Object (2017 UJ43), between 7 and 16 meters (23 to 51 feet) in diameter, will pass the Earth at between 4.5 and 4.6 lunar distances (nominally 4.5), traveling at 7.30 kilometers per second (16,323 miles per hour).

Sunday evening, November 5, 2017, at 7:11 PM EST, the Moon will be at perigee, its closest to the Earth for this orbit. At 361,438 km (224,587 miles), the Moon will be 11% closer than it will be when it is at apogee later in November.

Sunday night, November 5, 2017, into Monday morning, November 6, 2017, the waning gibbous Moon will appear to pass in front of the bright star Aldebaran. For the Washington, DC area, the Moon will rise in the east-northeast at 6:40 PM, Aldebaran will rise to the lower left of the Moon 5 minutes later. Aldebaran will appear to vanish behind the bright limb of the Moon at about 7:59 PM (difficult to see because the brightness of the Moon masks the star). Aldebaran will appear to wink back into view from behind the dark limb of the Moon (easier to see) at about 8:52 PM, all in EST. The Moon will be at its highest in the sky Monday morning at 1:53 AM (when Aldebaran will be to the right of the Moon), and morning twilight will begin at 5:41 AM EST.

Friday afternoon, November 10, 2017, the waning Moon will appear half-full as it reaches its last quarter at 3:36 PM EST.

Saturday morning, November 11, 2017, the bright star Regulus will appear near the waning half Moon. For the Washington, DC area, the Moon will rise in the east-northeast Friday night at 11:43 PM, Regulus will rise to the lower left of the Moon early Saturday morning at 12:13 AM. They will appear to shift closer together until Regulus is lost in the glow of dawn (with morning twilight starting at 5:46 AM EST). Regulus and the Moon will actually appear at their closest in the middle of the day on Saturday when we cant see Regulus (at least, not without binoculars or a telescope).

On Sunday evening, November 12, 2017about 30 minutes after sunset (and hard to see in the glow of dusk), about halfway between southwest and west-southwest, you may be able to see the the bright start Antares to the lower left of the planet Mercury. For the Washington, DC area, 30 minutes after sunset will be at 5:26 PM EST, when Antares will be a little less than 2 degrees above the horizon and Mercury will be to the upper right a little more than 3 degrees above the horizon. The bright planet in the southwest about 15 degrees above the horizon will be Saturn.

On Monday morning, November 13, 2017, the bright planets Venus and Jupiter will appear right next to each other on the horizon in the east-southeast, closer together than the angular diameter of the Moon. For the Washington, DC area, Venus and Jupiter will rise together at 5:38 AM and will be less than 2 degrees above the horizon when morning twilight begins at 10 minutes later at 5:48 AM EST. Venus and Jupiter are both bright enough to see even as the sky brightens with dawn. They will only be about 7 degrees above the horizon 30 minutes before sunrise, at 6:19 AM EST, so you will need a clear view to the horizon in the east-southeast.

On Wednesday morning, November 15, the planet Mars will appear to the upper right of the thin, waning, crescent Moon. For the Washington, DC area, Mars will rise in the east at 3:39 AM, the Moon will rise to the lower left of Mars at 3:52 AM, and morning twilight will begin at 5:50 AM EST.

On Friday afternoon, November 17, 2017at 4:09 PM EST (2017-Nov-17 21:09 UTC), Near Earth Object 444584 (2006 UK), between 242 and 542 meters (795 to 1778 feet) in diameter, will pass the Earth at 8.7 lunar distances, traveling at 14.80 kilometers per second (33,097 miles per hour).

Saturday morning, November 18, 2017, at 6:42 AM EST, will be the new Moon, when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from the Earth. The day of the new Moon marks the start of the tenth month of the Chinese calendar and the next day marks the start of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar.

In the Islamic calendar the months start with the first sighting of the waxing crescent Moon a few days after the New Moon.Sunday evening, November 19, 2017, is the estimated beginning of Rabi al-awwal, the third month of the Islamic year.

On Monday evening, November 20, 2017, the bright planet Saturn will appear low in the west-southwest to the left of the thin waxing, crescent Moon, with the planet Mercury close to setting below the pair. For the Washington, DC area, evening twilight will end at 5:52 PM, Mercury will set 5 minutes later at 5:57 PM, Saturn will set at 6:38 PM, and the Moon will set at 6:45 PM EST.

Tuesday afternoon, November 21, 2017, at 1:54 PM EST, the Moon will be at apogee, at 406,132 km (252,359 miles) its farthest from the Earth for this orbit.

On Thursday, November 23, 2017, at 7:00 PM EST, the planet Mercury will be at its greatest angular separation from the Sun as seen from the Earth in the evening sky, called greatest eastern elongation, appearing half full when viewed by telescope. Even though this is the evening with the greatest angular separation, because of the orientation of Mercurys orbital plane with Earths horizon, for the Washington, DC area, at least, the evening when Mercury is at its highest above the west-southwest horizon at the time evening twilight ends will be 3 days later, on Sunday evening, November 26, 2017.

On Sunday, November 26, 2017, the Moon will appear half-full as it reaches its first quarter at 12:03 PM EST.

Monday and Tuesday evenings, November 27 and 28, 2017, will be when the planets Mercury and Saturn will appear at their closest together. To see them you will need a clear view of the horizon about half-way between southwest and west-southwest, right around the time evening twilight ends. Saturn will appear to the upper right of Mercury.

In late November, in the morning sky, the bright star Spica will appear to the lower right of the planet Mars, with the planet Jupiter to the lower left.Wednesday morning, November 29, 2017, will be when Mars and Spica will appear at their closest.

Saturday evening into Sunday morning, December 2 to 3, 2017, the bright star Aldebaran will appear near the full Moon.

Sometime around Sunday, December 3, 2017(2017-Dec-03 05:50 UTC with 2 days, 23 hours, 38 minutes uncertainty), Near Earth Object (2008 WM61), between 12 and 27 meters (40 to 89 feet) in diameter, will pass the Earth at between 3.1 and 6.5 lunar distances (nominally 3.8), traveling at 4.69 kilometers per second (10,488 miles per hour).

The full Moon after next will be on Sunday, December 3, 2017, at 10:47 AM EST. Monday, December 4, 2017, at 3:42 AM EST, the Moon will be at perigee, its closest to the Earth for this orbit. At 357,492 km (222,135 miles), the Moon will be 12% closer than it was at apogee earlier in November. Because this full Moon is near perigee, it qualifies as the first of three supermoons. More on this in my next Moon Missive.

The next full Moon will be just after midnight on Thursday morning, June 28, 2018, appearing opposite the Sun (in Earth-based longitude) at 12:53 AM EDT.

Full Moon Blog: Buck, Thunder or Rose Moon

As part of the agencys Exploration Campaign, NASAs Gateway will become the orbital outpost for robotic and human exploration operations in deep space. Built with commercial and international partners, the Gateway will support exploration on and near the Moon, and beyond, including Mars.

NASA Will Seek Partnership with US Industry to Develop First Gateway Element

As NASA shifts human exploration back to the Moon, U.S. commercial partnerships will be a key to expediting missions and building a sustainable presence on the lunar surface.

NASA: Commercial Partners Key to Sustainable Moon Presence

NASA is returning to the Moon with commercial and international partners as part of an overall agency Exploration Campaign in support of Space Policy Directive 1.

NASA Expands Plans for Moon Exploration: More Missions, More Science

NASA Releases Logo to Mark Apollos 50th Anniversary

Alan Bean, Apollo Moonwalker and Artist, Dies at 86

Full Moon Blog: The Next Full Moon is the Strawberry Moon

Lunar Swirl Features Reproduced by Modeling Solar Wind Standoff

NASAs Exploration Campaign: Back to the Moon and on to Mars

NASA Outlines New Lunar Science, Human Exploration Missions

Shoot the Moon – Lunar Photography Tips

This site is maintained by the Planetary Science Communications team at

forNASAs Science Mission Directorate.

Content Developers: Andrea Jones & Bill Dunford


It is impossible to determine who discovered Saturn, as it is one of five planets that are visible without the aid of instruments.Saturn has been widely observed by people for thousands of years, although its unique and complex system of rings are only visible using a telescope.

Stars exist that are both bigger and smaller than the sun. The sun has a radius of 1.4 million kilometers and, relative to other stars, is an average size.

What Is Jupiters Atmosphere Made up Of?

The atmosphere of Jupiter consists of 90 percent hydrogen gas and nearly 10 percent helium. However, its atmosphere has trace amounts of ammonia, sulfur and water vapor. Jupiter is a gas giant that is also the biggest planet in the solar system.

A burnt-out star is called a white dwarf. A white dwarf results after a stars nuclear fuel burns out, which causes it to collapse or implode. While it has a mass similar to that of the sun, its radius is similar to that of the Earth.

How Do Space Craters Get Their Names?

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), an organization of astronomers, names the craters on planets and moons in the solar system by giving each planet a creative theme. For example, the moons craters are usually named for deceased explorers, scientists and scholars, while large craters on Venus are named for famous women in various professional fields.

Galileos main impact on the world was his improvement upon the telescope and being the first to use it in the science of astronomy. He also supported the Copernican system that stated that planets orbit the sun rather than the Earth as the Catholic Church said at the time. His other contribution was to contradict Aristotles teachings that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones.

What Causes Day and Night to Happen?

The Earth goes through a constant cycle of day and night because it rotates on an axis. At any point in time, only about half of the Earth is facing the sun, while the other side is facing away from it. The side that is facing the sun is illuminated (day) while the side facing away from the sun remains dark (night).

A planetarium is a facility designed to replicate the features of the universe in the night sky. Similar to a museum or science center, planetariums are developed in communities to offer education and entertainment to people curious about the field of astronomy. Visitors typically pay admission fees to enter just as they would at a theater or zoo.

Terrestrial navigation is a field of study that helps sea-faring people locate points at sea and on the land. Similarly, it involves being able to identify the position of the ship anywhere in the world. Students are instructed in the use of nautical charts, compass corrections and voyage planning.

After Galileo built his first telescope in 1609, he observed and described the landscape of the moon, discovered four of the moons of Jupiter, discovered the phases of Venus, and discovered sunspots. Galileos discovery of sunspots supported the idea of heliocentrism, a model that places the sun at the center of the universe with the planets orbiting around it.

The sky ends at the Karman line, which is located at about 67 miles above sea level. Above this line, space begins. However, technically, the sky does not end so much as the atmosphere, or sky, thins until there is no oxygen left.

What Is the Farthest Star From Earth?

Scientists will never know the farthest star from Earth, as the star is so far away that its light has not, nor will ever, have enough time to reach Earth. Even the stars within the visible universe are far too numerous to count, but the farthest one that humans have ever detected is about 55 million light years away. This incredibly distant star is called SDSS J 122952.66 +112227.8.

What Types of Equipment Do Astronomers Use?

According to NASA, modern astronomers tools include advanced telescopes capable of studying light reflected from the sun, moon, planets, comets and stars. Radio telescopes are utilized in the study of radio waves, while space-borne gamma ray telescopes aid in the study of gamma rays.

Stars appear to pulsate and twinkle in the night sky due to the refraction of light through the Earths atmosphere. When the light from a star enters the atmosphere, air molecules bounce and deflect the light rays, slightly altering the apparent position and intensity of the star.

Early Greek astronomers named the galaxy Via Lactea in reference to the pale band of light formed by stars along the galactic plane. The origin of the name, which translates as Road of Milk, has been lost to time.

How Would You Describe a Solar Eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves directly between the Earth and the sun. The moons shadow travels over the surface of the Earth and blocks out the light from the sun seen on Earth.

Elliptical orbits are the paths taken by objects as they fly around a massive object, such as the sun or Earth. Such orbits are not round as is commonly supposed; instead, they orbit the massive body in the shape of an ellipse. Ellipses are like circles that have been elongated slightly, and they are also referred to as ovals.

The meteorites that land on earth can be made of stone, iron or stony iron. A few meteorites are made of volcanic glass, but scientists arent sure that all of these meteorites are extraterrestrial in nature. They believe some of these meteorites are formed when material from an impact crater liquefies and then turns to glass as its ejected into the atmosphere.

Gravity is one of the fundamental forces of the universe, and it keeps us on Earth because it is relentlessly attractive. Every massive particle exhibits gravity by pulling closer to every other particle. The strength of this interaction is dependent on two quantities: the amount of mass and the distance between objects. It is possible to escape Earths gravity if you have enough energy to speed up sufficiently.

What Are Some Solar System Project Ideas?

A popular solar system project idea is the construction of a solar system model. While the hanging Styrofoam ball model is an easy-to-create option, constructing the solar system in panoramic form in a shoe box can also be fun.

How Long Would It Take a Passenger Plane to Fly Around the Sun?

A passenger airplane, flying at 600 mph, could circle the sun in just over six months. According to , the sun is a nearly perfect sphere, and there is essentially no difference in circumference at its equator and the circumference from pole to pole.

Natural objects found outside of the Earths atmosphere, such as planets, stars, moons, comets, meteors and asteroids, are some of the heavenly bodies in space. It is believed that there are other forms of heavenly bodies or objects in space that are yet to be discovered and explored.

How Can You Tell When the Next Full MooIs?

To find out when the next full moon will be, use an online directory of full moon dates or make an educated prediction based upon the moons current place in its cycle.Some online directories of moon dates include , and m.

The moon travels around the Earth every 29.5 days, meaning the next full moon is 29.5 days from the last. Contrary to common misconceptions, the phases of the moon are not caused by the earths shadow, but rather the fact that half of the moon is always in shadow while half of it is always lit by the sun, just as with the Earth. As the Moon revolves around the Earth, different portions of that shadow are visible, going from new moon to half moon to full moon and back. and fo are websites specifically dedicated to the moon and both list its cycle dates. also lists other events, such as solar and lunar eclipses. lists full moon dates and their traditional names, such as Wolf Moon, Strawberry Moon and Harvest Moon.

To approximately guess the cycle of the moon, look at the side lit by the sun. When the moon is lit on the left side and in shadow on the right, it is a waning moon. When lit on the right, the moon is waxing, and the next full moon is no more than 14 days away.

Find full moon dates at and These website feature calendars listing moon phases as observed from the United States, as well as moo…Full Answer

A black moon describes either the second new moon of a calendar month, a calendar month without a new moon, a calendar month without a full moon, or the th…Full Answer

What Are the Different Phases of the Moon ?

The phases of the moon include the following eight periods: the new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, third …Full Answer

The phases of the moon, from darkest to brightest, are the new moon, the crescent moon, the quarter moon, the gibbous moon and the full moon. As the moon f…Full Answer

Why Is Only One Side of the Moon Called the Dark Side of the Moon?

What Is the Difference Between a New Moon Vs. a Full Moon?

How Much Bigger Is the Earth Than the Moon?

What Is the Difference Between a New Moon and a Full Moon?

What Is the Meaning of a Yellow Moon?

Our Moon

According to NASA, there have been six lunar landings, all under the Apollo program.The first moon landing was by Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. The last was Apollo 17, which landed on the moon on December 7, 1972.

Why Do We Always See the Same Face of the Moon?

The moon is tidally locked with Earth, which has the effect of synchronizing its rotation period with the period of its orbit. Completing one day per orbit of the Earth, the moon has shown the same face to the Earth for billions of years.

One of the main reasons the United States sponsored a mission to the moon was because of the space race with Russia. Russia was the first country to put an artificial satellite in space, which caused a lot of embarrassment for the U.S.

What Is the Difference Between the Earth and the Moon?

One of the many differences between the Earth and the moon is simply that the Earth is a planet and the moon orbits the Earth as its satellite. The Earths circumference is 24,873.6 miles, while that of the moon is 6783.5 miles.

Whose Ashes Were Brought to the Moon?

In 1999, a space probe called the Lunar Prospector carried some of the ashes of American scientist Eugene Shoemaker to the moon. As of 2015, Shoemaker is the only human to be buried on the moon, though not all of Shoemakers remains were sent with the Prospector.

How Many Apollo Missions Landed on the Moon?

Six Apollo missions, specifically Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17, landed on the moon between 1969 and 1972. Apollo 13 was also supposed to land on the moon but failed to do so due to a spacecraft malfunction.

According to NASA, one moon day is equal to 27 Earth days, which is the time the moon takes to complete its spin. The moon is tidally locked, so it always shows the same face to the Earth.

How Can I Tell What Phase the Moon Is In?

The way to identify which of the phases the moon is in is based on which section of the moons face is lit by the sun. The moon has eight phases, which happen in the same cycle over the course of a 29-day period.

Do Full Moons Really Make Us Crazy?

Humans have long believed that there is a connection between a full moon and erratic behavior, but there is no scientific proof that this is the case. Even though no real evidence exists of the moons crazy-making powers, many continue to believe that the two things are connected. This is known as illusory correlation, in which people imagine that they see a logical connection where there isnt one.

Can the Moon Really Affect Your Sleep Patterns?

Though scientists find the phenomenon hard to explain, it may be true that people tend to get a little bit less sleep during a full moon, and the sleep they do get is not as deep as it is at other times of the month. While increased nighttime light could be an issue, research showed that the moon impacted subjects sleep even if they were in a windowless room. However, the European scientists who conducted this study, which was reported in 2013, seem to doubt their own findings.

What Is Bigger: the Earth or the Moon?

The Earth is much bigger than the moon. While the Earth is measured at 8,000 miles in diameter, the Moon only measures 2,160 miles in diameter. This means that if the Earth was hollowed out, the Moon could fit inside it 50 times.

What Is the Temperature on the Dark Side of the Moon?

Temperatures on the dark side of the moon average around negative 280 degrees Fahrenheit. This is do in part to the moons lack of an atmosphere; there is no insulation to hold heat (on the far side) or soften the suns rays (on the sun facing side).

There is evidence that the moon is seismically active, which means it can experience the moon version of an earthquake. During the 1969 and 1972 moon landings, astronauts placed seismometers on the moon in order to allow scientists to learn more about earths biggest natural satellite.

The moon has a mass of 7.35 x 10²² kilograms. It is only about 60 percent as dense as Earth, and as such, the moons mass is only 1.2 percent of Earths. Thus, it would take the mass of 81 moons to equal the mass of Earth.

How Much of the Moon Is Always Lit by the Sun?

Half of the moon is always lit by the sun, unless the sun is eclipsed by the Earth. The portion of the illuminated moon viewed from Earth depends on the moons orbit. As the moon orbits, different portions of shadow and illumination are seen from Earth, creating the moons phases.

How Does the Moon Affect the Earth?

The main way the moon affects the Earth is the tides. The moon plays an important role in protecting the Earth from space rocks, such as meteorites. More subtle effects of the moon include minor effects on climate, the heat of the crust and the speed of the Earths rotation.

Is the Moon Moving Farther Away From Earth?

The moon is in fact gradually drifting away from the earth. Each year, the moon spins almost 4 centimeters farther from the earth, which makes the earths day just a bit longer. While this 1.48-inch movement will eventually add up to a big change, it will take billions of years to make a significant difference to life on earth.

The surface of the moon is generally a light gray color, although there are parts of the moon that are made up of dark gray rocks. The moon has a different appearance from the surface, from space and from the Earth.

The moon rises in the eastern sky and sets in the western sky because of Earths rotation. Its rising and setting positions vary throughout the year from northeast/northwest to due east/west to southeast/southwest.

Crescent moons happen when Earth, the sun and moon are positioned in a way that only shows a portion of the reflected light on the moon. The result is a crescent-shaped light pattern.

Despite the close relationship between the Earth and its moon as well as successful human visits to the moon, life there is not currently sustainable. The moon doesnt provide enough oxygen for humans to survive. Solar radiation is also a problem, since the moon is outside Earths protective atmosphere.

How Many Times Did We Land on the Moon?

According to NASA, there have been six lunar landings, all under the Apollo program. The first moon landing was by Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. The last was Apollo 17, which landed on the moon on December 7, 1972.

Full Moon Sydney 2018

List of Full Moon dates in 2018 in Sydney (NSW), Australia

Tuesday, 2 January 2018 around 1:24 pm

Thursday, 1 February 2018 around 12:26 am

Friday, 2 March 2018 around 11:51 am

Saturday, 31 March 2018 around 11:36 pm

Monday, 30 April 2018 around 10:58 am

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 around 12:19 am

Thursday, 28 June 2018 around 2:53 pm

Saturday, 28 July 2018 around 6:20 am

Sunday, 26 August 2018 around 9:56 pm

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 around 12:52 pm

Thursday, 25 October 2018 around 3:45 am

Friday, 23 November 2018 around 4:39 pm

Sunday, 23 December 2018 around 4:48 am

List of New Moon dates in 2018 in Sydney (NSW), Australia

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 around 1:17 pm

Friday, 16 February 2018 around 8:05 am

Sunday, 18 March 2018 around 12:11 am

Monday, 16 April 2018 around 11:57 am

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 around 9:47 pm

Thursday, 14 June 2018 around 5:43 am

Friday, 13 July 2018 around 12:47 pm

Saturday, 11 August 2018 around 7:57 pm

Monday, 10 September 2018 around 4:01 am

Tuesday, 9 October 2018 around 2:46 pm

Thursday, 8 November 2018 around 3:01 am

Friday, 7 December 2018 around 6:20 pm

Iconic OneTheme Powered byWordpress

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.

Moon Phases

Have you ever wondered what causes the moon phases? We all know that its appearance changes over time. But why? The good way to understand the phases of the moon is to examine an earth-moon-sun diagram:

The illustration may look a little complex at first, but its easy to explain.

Sunlight is shown coming in from the right. The earth, of course, is at the center of the diagram. The moon is shown at 8 key stages during its revolution around the earth. The moon phase name is shown alongside the image. Thedotted line from the earth to the moon represents your line of sightwhen looking at the moon. The large moon image shows what you would see at that point in the cycle. For thewaning gibbous, third quarter, and waning crescent phases you have to mentally turn yourself upside downwhen imagining the line of sight. When you do this, youll see that the illuminated portion is on your left, just as you see in the large image.

One important thing to notice is that exactly one half of the moon isalwaysilluminated by the sun. Of course that is perfectly logical, but you need to visualize it in order to understand the phases. At certain times we seeboththe sunlit portion and the shadowed portion — and that creates the various moon phase shapes we are all familiar with. Also note that the shadowed part of the moon is invisible to the naked eye; in the diagram above, it is only shown for clarification purposes. Finally, please realize this diagram is only meant to demonstrate how the phases work; the small inner moons in the diagram do not show the fact that thesame side of the moonalways faces Earth.

So the basic explanation is that the lunar phases are created by changing angles (relative positions) of the earth, the moon and the sun, as the moon orbits the earth.

If youd like to examine the phases of the moon more closely, via computer software, you may be interested in thismoon phases calendar software.

Its probably easiest to understand the moon cycle in this order: new moon and full moon, first quarter and third quarter, and the phases in between.

As shown in the above diagram, thenew moonoccurs when the moon is positionedbetweenthe earth and sun. The three objects are in approximate alignment (why approximate is explained below). The entire illuminated portion of the moon is on the back side of the moon, the half that we cannot see.

At afull moon, the earth, moon, and sun are in approximate alignment, just as the new moon, but the moon is on the opposite side of the earth, so the entire sunlit part of the moon is facing us. The shadowed portion is entirely hidden from view.

Thefirst quarterandthird quartermoons (both often called ahalf moon), happen when the moon is at a 90 degree angle with respect to the earth and sun. So we are seeing exactly half of the moon illuminated and half in shadow.

Once you understand those four key moon phases, the phases between should be fairly easy to visualize, as the illuminated portion gradually transitions between them.

An easy way to remember and understand those between lunar phase names is by breaking out and defining 4 words: crescent, gibbous, waxing, and waning. The wordcrescentrefers to the phases where the moon islessthan half illuminated. The wordgibbousrefers to phases where the moon ismorethan half illuminated.Waxingessentially means growing or expanding in illumination, andwaningmeans shrinking or decreasing in illumination.

Thus you can simply combine the two words to create the phase name, as follows:

After the new moon, the sunlit portion is increasing, but less than half, so it iswaxing crescent. After the first quarter, the sunlit portion is still increasing, but now it ismorethan half, so it iswaxing gibbous. After the full moon (maximum illumination), the light continually decreases. So thewaning gibbousphase occurs next. Following the third quarter is thewaning crescent, which wanes until the light is completely gone — a new moon.

You may have personally observed that the moon goes through a complete moon phases cycle in about one month. Thats true, but its not exactly one month. Thesynodic periodorlunationis exactly 29.5305882 days. Its the time required for the moon to move to the same position (same phase)as seen by an observer on earth. If you were to view the moon cycling the earth from outside our solar system (the viewpoint of the stars), the time required is 27.3217 days, roughly two days less. This figure is called thesidereal periodororbital period. Why is the synodic period different from the sidereal period? The short answer is because on earth, we are viewing the moon from a moving platform: during the moon cycle, the earth has moved approximately one month along its year-long orbit around the sun, altering our angle of view with respect to the moon, and thus altering the phase. The earths orbital direction is such that it lengthens the period for earthbound observers.

Although the synodic and sidereal periods are exact numbers, the moon phase cant be precisely calculated by simple division of days because the moons motion (orbital speed and position) is affected and perturbed by various forces of different strengths. Hence, complex equations are used to determine the exact position and phase of the moon at any given point in time.

Also, looking at the diagram (and imagining it to scale), you may have wondered why, at a new moon, the moon doesnt block the sun, and at a full moon, why the earth doesnt block sunlight from reaching the moon. The reason is because the moons orbit about the earth is about 5 degrees off from the earth-sun orbital plane.

However, at special times during the year, the earth, moon, and sun do in fact line up. When the moon blocks the sun or a part of it, its called asolar eclipse, and it can only happen during the new moon phase. When the earth casts a shadow on the moon, its called alunar eclipse, and can only happen during the full moon phase. Roughly 4 to 7 eclipses happen in any given year, but most of them minor or partial eclipses. Major lunar or solar eclipses are relatively uncommon.

If you want to follow the phases of the moon, you should definitely take a look atQuickPhase Pro, our flagship moon software product for your personal computer. This attractive and fun software covers thousands of years of past and future moon phases and is easy to use.

Full Moon Party

.What is it about this party that attract such crowd?

The magic of the moon, perhaps..

Some time ago, a group of tourists found that the most beautiful moon was in Koh Phangan. They arranged a party along the crescent-shaped beach of Haad Rin to celebrate the Full Moon night. From then on, people from all over the world come to join the celebration…

And now there are 10,000-30,000 people at the party each month. The party begins at dusk, When the round yellow moon makes its appearance over the white sand beach. In twilight, small tables are lined up on the beach and thousands of lamps are lit…

As the evening progresses the beach explodes into a dancing frenzy as different m.c.s take their furn on the decks. There is something for everyone here, trance, techno, drum and bass, commercial dance and reggae, no-one is disappointed. Jugglers and fire-eaters entertain the crowds as the night goes on and with the brilliant impromptu fireworks display, the party atmosphere is complete. After a few hours it could be time to chill-out for a while, maybe grab a drink or a bite to eat from one of the many beach traders and wade out or sit down in the warm surf of the Gulf of Thailand, pure, pure heaven.

Revived and relaxed its time to return to the main beach and get blown into another dancing dimension, While all around people are doing the same, there are no barriers here, no inhibitions, just people enjoying themselves with one unified intention, to rejoice in the magic that is the paradise of FULL MOON PARTY!

Be our fan at our new facebook fan page at:

Enjoy talking with party lovers from all over the world, photos video updated by you and a lot more activities…

Not only Full Moon Party, there are many party events on the island such asHALF MOON FESTIVALBLACKMOON CULTUREJUNGLE EXPERIENCE, SHIVA MOON PARTY and POOL PARTY at HOTELS & RESORTS. ALL are private ones with their own organizers so schedules of the parties are not inaccurated. Please check the schedules with us one or two days before you come so you wont loose your time at our email: schedules at fullmoonparty-thailand dot com .

lunar effects

…spooky effects have been ascribed to the phases of the moon….But when the statistics are redone properly, the correlation with lunar phase always evaporates….Yet many sensible people

including police officers and emergency room staffcontinue to believe otherwise.

The full moon has been linked to crime, suicide, mental illness, disasters, accidents, birthrates, fertility, andwerewolves, among other things. Some people evenbuy and sell stocks according to phases of the moon, a method probably as successful as many others. Numerous studies have tried to find lunar effects. So far, the studies have failed to establish much of interest. Lunar effects that have been found have little or nothing to do with human behavior, e.g., the discovery of a slight effect of the moon on global temperature,*which in turn might have an effect on the growth of plants. Of course, there have been single studies here and there that have found correlations between various phases of the moon and this or that phenomenon, but nothing significant has been replicated sufficiently to warrant claiming a probable causal relationship.

Ivan Kelly, James Rotton and Roger Culver (1996) examined over 100 studies on lunar effects and concluded that the studies have failed to show a reliable and significant correlation (i.e., one not likely due to chance) between the full moon, or any other phase of the moon, and each of the following:

-crisis calls to police or fire stations

-aggression by professional hockey players

-psychiatric admissions [onestudyfound admissions werelowestduring a full moon]

-agitated behavior by nursing home residents

-emergency room admissions [but see]

-behavioral outbursts of psychologically challenged rural adults

If so many studies have failed to prove a significant correlation between the full moon and anything, why do so many people believe in these lunar myths? Kelly, Rotton, and Culver suspect four factors: media effects, folklore and tradition, misconceptions, and cognitive biases.A fifth factor should be considered, as well:communal reinforcement.

Lunar myths are frequently presented in films and works of fiction. With the constant media repetition of an association between the full moon and human behavior it is not surprising that such beliefs are widespread in the general public (Kelly et al. 1996). Reporters also favor those who claim that the full moon influences behavior. It wouldnt be much of a story if the moon was full and nothing happened, they note. Anecdotal evidence for lunar effects is not hard to find and reporters know that one good anecdote trumps ten scientific studies when it comes to reader interest, even though such evidence is unreliable for establishing significant correlations. Relying on personal experience ignores the possibility ofself-deceptionandconfirmation bias. Such evidence may be unreliable, but it is nonetheless persuasive.

Many lunar myths are rooted in folklore. For example, an ancient Assyrian/Babylonian fragment stated that A woman is fertile according to the moon. Such notions have been turned into widespread misconceptions about fertility and birthrates. For example,Eugen Jonas, a Slovakian psychiatrist, was inspired by this bit of folklore to create a method of birth control and fertility largely rooted inastrologicalsuperstitions. The belief that there are more births during a full moon persists today among many educated people. Scientific studies, however, have failed to find any significant correlation between the full moon and number of births (Kelly and Martens 1994; Martens et al.1988 ). In 1991, Benski and Gerin reported that they had analyzed birthdays of 4,256 babies born in a clinic in France and found them equally distributed throughout the synodic (phase) lunar cycle (Kelly, et al. 1996: 19). In 1994, Italian researchers Periti and Biagiotti reported on their study of 7,842 spontaneous deliveries over a 5-year period at a clinic in Florence. They found no relationship between moon phase and number of spontaneous deliveries (ibid.).

Despite the fact that there is no evidence of a significant correlation between phases of the moon, themenstrual cycle, and fertility, some people not only maintain that there is, they have a scientific explanation for the non-existent correlation.*Some think the light of the moon affects fertility in women, the way it doesin corals. The light of the moon is a very minor source of light in most womens lives, and is no more likely than the moons gravitational force to have a significant effect on a womans ovulation. Furthermore, the average menstrual cycle is 28 days but varies from woman to woman and month to month, while the length of the lunar month is a consistent 29.53 days.*Some of us have noticed that these cycles are not identical. Furthermore, it would seem odd that natural selection would favor a method of reproduction for a species like ours that depended on the weather. Clouds are bound to be irregularly and frequently blocking moonlight, which would seem to hinder rather than enhance our species chance for survival.

Some mythmakers believe that long ago women all bled in sync with the moon, but civilization and indoor electric lighting (or even the discovery of fire by primitive humans) have disturbed their rhythmic cycle. This theory may seem plausible until one remembers that there are quite a few other mammals on the planet that have not been affected by firelight or civilizations indoor lighting and whose cycles arent in harmony with the moon. In short, given the large number of types of mammals on our planet, one would expect that by chance some species estrus and menstrual cycles would harmonize with lunar cycles (e.g., the lemur). It is doubtful that there is anything of metaphysical significance in this.

What we do know is that there has been very little research on hormonal or neurochemical changes during lunar phases. James Rottons search of the literature failed to uncover any studies linking lunar cycles to substances that have been implicated as possible correlates of stress and aggression (e.g., serotonin, melatonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, testosterone, cortisol, vasopressin [directly relevant to fluid content], growth hormone, pH, 17-OHCS, adrenocrotropic hormone [? adrenocorticotropic hormone?])(Rotton 1997).One would think that this area would be well-studied, since hormones and neurochemicals are known to affect menstruation and behavior.

Misconceptions about such things as the moons effect on tides have contributed to lunar mythology.The lunar force is actually a very weak tidal force. A mother holding her child will exert 12 million times as much tidal force on her child as the moon (Kelly et al., 1996: 25). Astronomer George O. Abell claims that a mosquito would exert more gravitational pull on your arm than the moon would (Abell 1979). Despite these physical facts, there is still widespread belief that the moon can cause earthquakes.*It doesnt; nor does the sun, which exerts much less tidal force on the earth than the moon.

The fact that the human body is mostly water largely contributes to the notion that the moon should have a powerful effect on the human body and therefore an effect on behavior. It is claimed by many that the earth and the human body both are 80% water. This is false. Eighty percent of thesurfaceof the earth is water. Furthermore, the moon only affectsunboundedbodies of water, while the water in the human body is bounded.

Also, the tidal force of the moon on the earth depends on its distance from earth, not its phase. Whereas the synodic period is 29.53 days, it takes 27.5 days for the moon to move in its elliptical orbit from perigee to perigee (or apogee to apogee). Perigee (when the moon is closest to earth) can occur at any phase of the synodic cycle (Kelly et al. 1990: 989). Higher tides do occur at new and full moons, but not because the moons gravitational pull is stronger at those times. Rather, the tides are higher then because the sun, earth, and moon are in a line and the tidal force of the sunjoins that of the moonat those times to produce higher tides (ibid.: 989).

Many of the misconceptions about the moons gravitational effect on the tides, as well as several other lunar misconceptions, seem to have been generated by Arnold Lieber inThe Lunar Effect(1978), republished in 1996 asHow the Moon Affects You.InThe Lunar Effect, Lieber incorrectly predicted a catastrophic earthquake would hit California in 1982 due to the coincidental alignment of the moon and planets. Undeterred by the fact that no such earthquake had occurred, Lieber did not admit his error in the later book. In fact, he repeated his belief about the dangers of planet alignments and wrote that they may trigger another great California earthquake. This time he didnt predict when.

cognitive biases and communal reinforcement

Many believe in lunar myths because they have heard them repeated many times by members of the mass media, by police officers, nurses, doctors, social workers, and other people with influence.Once many people believe something and enjoy a significant amount ofcommunal reinforcement, they get veryselectiveabout the type of data they pay attention to in the future. If one believes that during a full moon there is an increase in accidents, one will notice when accidents occur during a full moon, but be inattentive to the moon when accidents occur at other times. If something strange happens and there is a full moon at the time, a causal connection will be assumed. If something strange happens and there is no full moon, no connection is made, but the event is not seen as counterevidence to the belief in full moon causality. Memories get selective, and perhaps even distorted, to favor a full moon hypothesis. A tendency to do this over time strengthens ones belief in the relationship between the full moon and a host of unrelated effects.

Probably the most widely believed myth about the full moon is that it is associated with madness. However, in examining over 100 studies, Kelly et al. found that phases of the moon accounted for no more than 3/100 of 1 percent of the variability in activities usually termedlunacy (1996: 18). According to James Rotton, such a small percentage is too close to zero to be of any theoretical, practical, or statistical interest or significance(Rotton 1997).

Finally, the notion that there is a lunar influence on suicide is also unsubstantiated. Martin et al. (1992) reviewed numerous studies done over nearly three decades and found no significant association between phases of the moon and suicide deaths, attempted suicides, or suicide threats. In 1997, Gutirrez-Garca and Tusell studied 897 suicide deaths in Madrid and found no significant relationship between the synodic cycle and the suicide rate (p. 248). These studies, like others which have failed to find anything interesting happening during the full moon, have gone largely unreported in the press.

postscript: There are likely to be many studies in the future that find a positive correlation between some lunar phase and some human behavior (or process affected by human behavior, such as the stock market). Remember to consider a few caveats: correlation doesnt establish causation; studies that are well designed still need to be replicated before they are accepted as not being flukes; some studies with positive results will suffer from design flaws or methodological errors. For example, in 2005Yuan, Zheng, and Zhu foundthat stock returns are lower on the days around a full moon than on the days around a new moon. The magnitude of the return difference is 3% to 5% per annum based on analyses of two global portfolios: one equal-weighted and the other value-weighted. Whether this is a lunar effect remains to be seen. The study needs to be replicated with a significant number of data points.

update Feb 1, 2000: According to Allan Hall of theSunday-Times, German researchers Hans-Joachim Mittmeyer of the University of Tbingen and Norbert Filipp from the Health Institute of Reutlingen claim that a study of police reports for 50 new and full Moon cycles shows that the moon is responsible for binge drinking.

According to Hall, Mittmeyer and Filipp claim in their paper Alcohol Consumption and the Moons Influence to have studied police arrest reports and blood-alcohol tests of 16,495 people and Mittmeyer said The results show there is a definite correlation between new and full Moons and the amount of alcohol consumed.

More of those with an excess of 2ml of alcohol per 100ml of blood inside them – drunk, according to German law – were caught by police during the five-day full Moon cycle.

On average 175 drink-drivers per day were caught in two German states two days before a full Moon, 161 were caught during the full Moon cycle and the figure dropped to about 120 per day at other times.

Jan Willem Nienhuys, a mathematician in the Eindhoven (Netherlands) University of Technology, claims that Halls story is a garbled version of a story by the German Press Agency DPA. According to Nienhuys,Hallinvented the notion of a five-day full Moon cycle; the expression is not used by Mittmeyer and Filipp in their paper. Furthermore, 668 of the 16,495 arrested and tested were found to be sober, leaving 15,827 with alcohol in their blood, but only 4,512 with more than 0.2 percent blood alcohol (i.e., drunk).

According to Nienhuys, the 161 figure refers to the average number of drunk drivers arrested on any given date in the lunar month; he believes this number was arrived at by dividing 4,512 by 28 (rather than 29.53, the length of a lunar month) and hence should be 153, not 161. About the only thing Hall got right, says Nienhuys, is that Mittmeyer and Filipp do claim to have found a significant correlation between the moon and excessive drinking. He notes that the pair provide graphs but no statistical analysis of their data. When such an analysis is done, says Nienhuys, one discovers that the study is pompous pseudoscience. According to Nienhuys, a standard statistical test yields p-values which show that there is nothing to investigate.

Here are the data, according to Nienhuys. Day 0 is the day of the new moon and day 14 is the full moon.

day drunks drinkers, including drunks

1 160 528 2 162 552 3 122 527 4 162 538 5 157 531 6 156 504 7 158 560 8 140 523 9 152 540 10 150 552 11 146 477 12 173 563 13 150 545

15 149 498 16 145 543 17 142 539 18 143 507 19 119 508 20 157 532 21 163 552 22 156 513 23 148 530 24 154 528 25 158 536 26 175 582 27 176 581 28 169 590 ——————— 4437 15553 missing 75 274

The three big days were the 12th, 26th and 27th. You figure it out!

(Nienhuyss article, entitled Triply garbled tripe is being prepared for publication. He was kind enough to send me a pre-publication copy of the paper.)

See alsocontrol studyandpost hoc fallacy.

Abell, George. The Alleged Lunar Effect inScience Confronts the Paranormal, edited by Kendrick Frazier. (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1986).Abel provides a very critical review of psychiatrist Arnold L. LiebersThe Lunar Effect: Biological Tides and Human Emotions.

Abell, George O. The moon and the birthrate,Skeptical Inquirer, Summer 1979, vol. 3, no. 4.

Byrnes, Gail and I. W. Kelly. Crisis Calls and Lunar Cycles: A Twenty-Year Review,Psychological Reports, 1992, 71, 779-785.

Campbell, David E. and John L. BeetsLunacy and the moon.Psychological Bulletin, Volume 85, Issue 5, September 1978, Pages 1123-1129. (It is concluded that lunar phase is not related to human behavior and that the few positive findings are examples of a Type I error, i.e., seeing patterns where there arent any.)

Gutirrez-Garca, J. M. and F. Tusell. Suicides and the Lunar Cycle,Psychological Reports, 1997, 80, 243-250.

Hines, Terence.Pseudoscience and the Paranormal2nd ed. (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 2003).

Iosif, Alina and Bruce Ballon. 2005. Bad Moon Rising: the persistent belief in lunar connections to madness.CMAJ, 173, 1498-1500.

Jamison, Kay R.Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide(Knopf, 1999).

Kelly, I. W., W. H. Laverty, and D. H. Saklofske. Geophysical variables and behavior: LXIV. An empirical investigation of the relationship between worldwide automobile traffic disasters and lunar cycles: No Relationship,Psychological Reports,1990, 67, 987-994.

Kelly, I. W. and R. Martens. 1994. Lunar phase and birthrate: An update,Psychological Reports, 75, 507-511.

Kelly, I. W., James Rotton, and Roger Culver. The Moon was Full and Nothing Happened: A Review of Studies on the Moon and Human Behavior and Human Belief, in J. Nickell, B. Karr and T. Genoni, eds.,The Outer Edge(Amherst, N.Y.: CSICOP, 1996). This is an updated version of an article which originally appeared in theSkeptical InquirerWinter 1985-86 (vol. 10, no. 2) and was reprinted inThe Hundredth Monkey and Other Paradigms of the Paranormal, edited by Kendrick Frazier (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1991), pp. 222-234.

Martens R., I. W. Kelly, and D. H. Saklofske. 1998. Lunar phase and birth rate: A fifty-year critical review,Psychological Reports, 63, 923-934.

Martin, S.J., I. W. Kelly and D. H. Saklofske. Suicide and Lunar Cycles: A Critical Review over 28 Years,Psychological Reports, 1992, 71, 787-795.

Plait, Philip C.Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing Hoax(Wiley & Sons 2002).

Rotton, James and I. W. KellyMuch Ado About the Full Moon: A Meta-Analysis of Lunar-Lunacy ResearchPsychological Bulletin, Volume 97, Issue 2, March 1985, Pages 286-306. (Alleged relations between phases of the moon and behavior can be traced to inappropriate analyses, a failure to take other (e.g., weekly) cycles into account, and a willingness to accept any departure from chance as evidence for alunar effect.)

Rotton, James. Moonshine,Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1997.

Strogatz, Steven H. (2004).SYNC: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life.Hyperion.

Thompson, David A. and Stephen L. Adams.The full moon and ED patient volumes: Unearthing a myth.The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, Volume 14, Issue 2, March 1996, Pages 161-164. (Alleged relations between phases of the moon and behavior can be traced to inappropriate analyses, a failure to take other (e.g., weekly) cycles into account, and a willingness to accept any departure from chance as evidence for a lunar effect.)

Moonstruck! Does The Full Moon Influence Behavior?byEric Chudler

Bad Astronomy: The Dark Side of the Moon

Bad Astronomy: The Biggest, Brightest Moon?

Bad Astronomy: Big Moon, Little Moon

Bad Astronomy: Fox TV and the Apollo Moon HoaxHoax

Maneaters most likely to strike after full moonLions and other predators may be at their most dangerous when the moon begins to wane, finds study of 500 attacks in Tanzania In more than two thirds of cases, the victims were killed and eaten. The vast majority of attacks occurred between dusk and 10pm on nights when the moon was waning and providing relatively little light. What a shock!

On March 19, 2011 the moon will make its closest approach to Earth in 18 years. The last time the moon got nearly this close was on January 10, 2005 around the time of the 9.0 Indonesia earthquake. An 8.9 quake hit Japan on March 11th. Coincidence?Astronomers think soAstrologer Richard Nolle doesnt.He calls such events a Supermoon. Never mind that February 18, 2011 was also a Supermoon and that the Japan quake hit a week early. Wait. New Zealand was hit with a 6.3 quake about 10 days after the Supermoon. Close enough for astrologers work. Nolle will surely find friends in low places who will cite his accuracy as proof of his belief that the moon caused the Japan quake. I wouldnt worry about future earthquakes caused by a Supermoonthe next one isnt due until January 2, 2018, anyway. I predict, however, that there will be some big earthquakes and volcanic eruptions between now and then.

According to John Vidale, a seismologist at the University of Washington in Seattle and director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, particularly dramatic land and ocean tides do trigger earthquakes. Both the moon and sun do stress the Earth a tiny bit, and when we look hard we can see a very small increase in tectonic activity when theyre aligned, Vidale toldLifes Little Mysteries. At times of full and new moons, you see a less-than-1-percent increase in earthquake activity, and a slightlyhigher response in volcanoes.

The moons gravitational pull at lunar perigee [the point in the moons orbit when it is closest to Earths center], the scientists say, is not different enough from its pull at other times to significantly change the height of the tides or the likelihood of natural disasters.*Many studies have been done on this and nothing of significance has been found, according to John Bellini, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey.

NASA astronomer Dave Williams said: At the time of the earthquake in Japan, the moon was actually closer to its furthest point in orbit from Earth than it was to its March 19 closest point, so the gravitational effect of the moon was, in fact, less than average at that time.

Full moon: Ill met by moonlightThe lunar effect, also known as the Transylvania effect, has long been a source of fascination. Many people half of university students and 80 per cent of mental health professionals, according to two studies believe lunar phases can affect behavior.

A new study from the Graduate School of Medicine at Kyoto University says its down to changes in the geomagnetic field. The researchers say geomagnetic activity drops by around 4 per cent for the seven days leading up to a full moon, then increases by a similar amount after.

We think moonlight increases the sensitivity of animals magneto reception, they say. We propose a hypothesis that animals respond to the full moon because of changes in geomagnetic fields. How that affects behavior is not clear but one suggestion is that changes in the electromagnetic field disrupt the nocturnal production of melatonin in the pineal gland. Melatonin helps regulate other hormones and maintains the bodys circadian rhythm the internal 24-hour clock and its production is affected by light.

Full Moon Does Not Affect Surgery OutcomesA new study, which will be published in the October issue of the journalAnesthesiology, shows the moons phase has no effect on the outcome of a heart-related surgery.

Full Moon Effect On Behavior Minimal, Studies Say by John Roach, National Geographic News

Sexy Corals Keep Eye on Moon, Scientists Say

Austrian study debunks notion that full moon causes more workplace injuries

Crackdown on lunar-fuelled crime (in Sussex)but does the crackdown make any sense? SeeDark side of the moonby the Guardians Aida Edemariam

Find out what the moon is really made of click here!

Full Moon Not to Blame for Epileptic Seizures by Robert Roy Britt

full moon in Mysteries & Science for Kids

Print versions available inDutchRussianJapanese, andKorean.