Ferida Wolff's Backyard: The Supermoon, a Skunk Scare and Groundhog Haven (and Groundhog Day Movie Trivia)
Did you get to see the moon these past two nights? It is the closest and brightest of 2016. It is also the largest since 1948. It won't come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034. It is called a Supermoon as much for its brilliance as for its size.
The full moon has always had a mystique about it. It has always captured our imagination. A full moon has its romantic side as a moon for lovers. It has the reputation of bringing out craziness in people. Vampires come out when the moon is full, don’t they? We see faces in it and it sparks our imaginations for stories and poems. Many cultures have moon myths.
Whatever interpretations we apply to the full moon, it is good to just allow its glow to wash over us, to be awed by its beautiful presence. Our November 2016 may be a special one but it doesn’t negate all the others. Let’s allow ourselves to take a moment to feel the wholeness of the universe and the oneness of humanity. Especially in some difficult times, let the full moon help us to take a deep breath and allow its beauty to remind us of the joy of life.
Science debunking some myths: http://earthsky.org/space/five-myths-about-the-moon
Editor's Note: The Great Moon Hoax or Was It — The Great Moon Hoax or Was It — The Joke's on Who? on the Smithsonian Libraries site.
The plurality of worlds theory is one which dates back to antiquity. The basic premise is that since there exists an infinite number of atoms, and later that the universe itself was infinite, it then goes that the chance of other worlds being populated like ours was philosophically probable. Over time, the theory evolved to take on a spiritual tone, especially from the Renaissance through the 19th century. The more religious version of the theory believed that since what God created was so perfect it follows that all planetary bodies, including suns and moons, and not just the Earth could contain life. While the scientific community of the early 19th century did not fully embrace the theory, some including John Herschel’s father William Herschel, famed royal astronomer to the King of England, did hold out the possibility of life on the Moon and other planets. William Herschel even went so far as to write about life on the Sun where so called Solarians lived, an idea that he later dropped.
Viewing the night sky illustration Gregor Reisch book 1504.
The religious cause of pluralism was taken up by several preachers and reverends including one Reverend Thomas Dick. The reverend was an avid amateur astronomer who wrote several popular books on astronomy including school texts. Among his works are: The Christian Philosopher, or the Connection of Science with Religion (1823); The Philosophy of the Future State (1829) in which he developed a Christian theology compatible with empirical science; and Celestial Scenery, or the Wonders of Heavens Displayed (1837). In his writings and sermons, the reverend laid out how the Moon had an atmosphere, volcanic activity, tropical plant life and was capable of supporting life. He was well educated in science enough to include elements that supported his claims. Just like we have scientific criteria for what it would take for a planet to support life or be Earth-like, so was the case in the 19th century. Based on observation, many astronomers at the time stated that the Moon had no evidence of clouds or an atmosphere, water, or showed any signs that the satellite was geologically active with volcanic activity.
Continue at the Smithsonian's Library blog site: https://blog.library.si.edu/2013/09/the-great-moon-hoax-or-was-it-the-jokes-on-who/#.WCt8nPorLIU
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