Tag: History

Magha Puja – the full moon festival in Southeast Asia

magha-puja_198x198Māgha Pūjā is an important Buddhist holiday that is celebrated in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka, on the day of the full moon, in the third month of the Thai moon calendar, in February/March. The word Māgha refers to month and Pūjā is the honoring. Legend has it that on this day 1,250 monks congregated to meet with Buddha. [read more]

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The mooncalf

mooncalf_198x198The word »mooncalf« is connected to a sad story, because in earlier centuries it was used for calves that were born malformed. It was assumed that the Moon was responsible for this, which was generally seen as a symbol of the feminine and dark side of life. Not exactly fair toward the Moon and unfortunately characteristic for the attitude wanting to assign the good to the masculine and the evil to the feminine.   [read more]

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The full moon, the eye and the razor in the movie »An Andalusian Dog«

andalusian-dog_198x198This classic of the surrealistic movie scene (the original in French »Un Chien Andalou«) by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, evoked mixed reactions when released in Paris, in 1929. Even from a current perspective, the movie polarizes, whereby its artistic value remains indisputable.

The approximately sixteen minute act consists of a series of individual sequences, which show different encounters of men and women. There are dream-like, symbolic, and partly absurd scenes that do not create a plot in the classic sense. Yet, the movie projects some sort of development, however, it remains incomprehensible. [read more]

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Moon boots

moon-boots_198x198Who does not know the »moon boots« – these bulky snow boots, which appeared in the 70′s and 80′s and have taken their claim ever since in the winterly fashion scene. The Italian Giancarlo Zanatta designed the shoes, inspired by the moon landing in 1969. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wore overshoes with wide soles, which provided the formal inspiration for moon boots. Zanatta took immediate care of the production of the shoes with his company called Tecnica, which is run by his son Alberto Zanatta today, and still sells up to 700,000 pair per year. [read more]

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Buzz Aldrin – the second man on the Moon

buzz-aldrin_198x198Buzz Aldrin (* 1930) is an American astronaut and the man, who, as part of the Apollo 11 mission on 21st July 1969, stepped onto the Moon as the second person, just after Neil Armstrong. He stood in the shadow of his colleague and one could assume that he may have suffered under these circumstances. But this was not the case, he did not really want to be in the spotlight and was satisfied coming second. After he set his feet into the dust 20 minutes after Armstrong did, he said: »Beautiful, beautiful. Magnificent desolation.« [read more]

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Moon bridges

moonbridge-taipei_198x198A moon bridge is a pedestrian bridge, of which the semicircular arch completes a full circle through its reflection in the water and reminds of the full moon. In the old days, the high arch especially, served the purpose for barges to comfortably pass through underneath. Moon bridges originate in the Asian culture and were often built in Japanese and Chinese gardens.  The mostly used materials were wood, stone and metal.

[read more]

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Hasselblad cameras on the Moon

hasselblad_198x198The medium-format cameras by the Swedish manufacturer Hasselblad, enjoy a legendary reputation and were – at least back then – probably the best cameras in the world. Not surprising that NASA chose exactly this brand during their equipment selection for their Moon missions. At that time, everything revolved around photographic quality of taking the pictures and moreso, around the reliability of the cameras. Back then, you did not have the opportunity to immediately examine whether a photograph turned out well, because all material could be developed only after the return to Earth. So, with regards to cameras there was the need to hedge one’s bets – inconceivable, if those photos would have turned out a complete flop.   [read more]

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The »golden handle« of the Moon

golden-handle_198x198When the sunlight appears on the Moon’s surface in a flat angle, interesting lighting effects are created, due to the mountains and valleys, which can be observed quite well from the Earth. A well-known effect is the so called »golden handle«. This is when the Jura Mountains (»Montes Jura«) are illuminated 4 to 5 days before the full moon and appear as a bright arc, in front of the still darkened Sea of Showers (»Sinus Iridum«) of the Mare Imbrium. This is reinforced by the fact that the boundary of light and shadow, which is called »terminator«, runs directly through this area. [read more]

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Luna 2 – the first space probe on the Moon

luna2_198x198Luna 2 was a Soviet space probe that impacted the Moon on  13th/14th September 1959. Space probes are unmanned flying objects that are used for exploration. In this case, it was about exploring the Moon, with the goal to fly a human to the Moon and have them return safely. History shows that this did not become possible until ten years later, with the moon landing of Neil Armstrong within the framework of the Apollo 11 mission, in July 1969. [read more]

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The tarot card »The Moon«

tarot-moon_198x198The tarot is a pack of playing cards that is used for mystical interpretations. It has a long tradition, possibly dating back to the ancient Egyptian time. Playing cards started to circulate in Europe at around the 14th and 15th century, among them also the so called »tarock« (in Italian »tarocchi«), which is considered to be the predecessor of what is now known as tarot, and still today established independently as a game of cards.

Over time, the symbolism and interpretation begins to move to the forefront and the cards become a popular tool for mystics and fortune tellers. [read more]

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When do you call a full moon »blue moon«?

Everyone knows that about once a month is full moon … but, strangely enough, full moon is always on a different day each month and always at a different time. The reason is that the moon month is shorter on the average, than the calendar month. Without being to mathematical, one can say that a moon cycle lasts approx. 29.5 days. This is how the time of full moon spreads irregularly throughout the calender months and it happens (about every 2.5 years) that two full moon dates fall onto the same month, one at the beginning and one at the end of the month. This second full moon is called »blue moon« today. [read more]

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»The Woman of the Apocalypse« and the Moon

woman-of-the-apocalypse_198x198»The Woman of the Apocalypse« is a depiction of a Virgin Mary that is surrounded by sunrays (hence she is also called sun-crowned Madonna), and shows a moon crescent underneath her feet. Quite often stars can also be seen around her head. This portrait goes back to the biblical text »The Woman and the Dragon« in the Revelation of John, chapter 12. This describes the fight of heaven against the red dragon that embodies the evil in the world. [read more]

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The »Void Of Course« Moon (VOC)

void-of-course-moon_198x198The terminology »void of course« Moon (VOC), refers to a specific duration of time in astrology, during the Moon’s passage through the signs of the zodiac. To this, the basic conditions are created by the so called »aspects« of the Moon, which refers to its connection to other planets in the sky. For example, when the Moon and another planet are opposite to each other, it is called »opposition«. Further important aspects are »conjunctions« (next to each other), »square« (angular distance 90°), »trine« (120°) and »sextile« (60°). So when the Moon passes through a zodiac, various of these aspects surface. After approximately 2.5 days, the Moon changes into the next zodiacal sign, to create new aspects again. The phase between the last aspect in the current zodiac and the transition to the next zodiac is called »void of course / VOC«. The length of this void of course can take anything from two minutes up to two days. [read more]

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The biblical Moon

moon-bible_198x198We have already searched and found the word »full moon« in the Bible, but only in two places in the Old Testament (Psalm 81:3–4 and Proverb 7:18–20). This is surprising, because the Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples must have taken place during the full moon, and hence, should have been mentioned in the New Testament.

We have extended our research and have looked for the word »moon« in the Bible. Here too, most passages can be found in the Prophetic books and Psalms of the Old Testament. However, there are also two places in the New Testament in the Gospel of Luke and Mark. [read more]

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Is the Moon round?

moon-orange_198x198When looking up to the full moon, you see a sphere and there is no doubt: the Moon has to be round. And we assume quite simply that a sphere is orbiting our Earth. This is correct indeed, if taking a lax approach in the definition of a sphere. The Moon is spherical, but differs considerably from the perfect shape. On the one hand it is flattened at the North Pole and South Pole, and on the other hand, its reverse side, which is turned away from the Earth, is convexed outwardly. [read more]

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A bath at the full moon

full-moon-bath_198x198Bathing at the full moon or in the full moon light, is a fascinating experience, which one or the other has surely made. Two ways to interpret this is either bathing in the water at the full moon (outdoors or in the bath tub), or bathing directly in the moonlight (when the light of the Moon shines onto your skin, just like sunbathing). [read more]

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The spacesuit

spacesuit_198x198When examining it thoroughly, we humans will never be able to touch the Moon directly, because even when an astronaut is standing on its surface, there is always the glove of the spacesuit in between, without which, life could not exist on foreign celestial bodies (consider also Mars).

There are a variety of dangers that the spacesuit protects the wearer from: vacuum, cold and heat, weightlessness, micrometeorites and radiation. Hereby, a distinction is made between suits that are only worn inside the space capsule during specific maneuvers, and suits that are used for space walks and actually leave the spacecraft. [read more]

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Chinese moon landing in sight

After USA and the Soviet Union, China will be the third nation in the world travelling to the Moon with their space program, and they will probably land there with the astronauts as well in the long term. At the moment, an unmanned spaceship »Chang’e-3« (moon fairy) is on its way to the Moon since 1st December 2013, planning to land in the Mare Ibrium on 14th December and supposed to transport a rover for research purposes of the Moon’s surface. The vehicle is called »Yutu« (jade rabbit). [read more]

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Moon rock

Our Moon consists of rock, which was formed newly during its creation through a collision between the Earth and another planet, around 4.5 billion years ago. Lunar maria were created through meteoroid impacts, which can be seen as dark spots if observed from Earth.

A small amount of these rocks are on Earth. One part stems from a variety of moon missions (Apollo and Luna), the other from meteorites that struck the Earth as fragments.  If you add up the registered mass of these rocks, you’ll end up with 738 kg (1,627 pounds). Which is actually »just a grain of rice« in comparison to the 81,000,000,000,000 kg that our Moon weighs. [read more]

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The full moon and Marc Chagall

There are probably few painters who made use of the full moon in their paintings as often as Marc Chagall (1887–1985), the French artist of Russian-Jewish descent, who was regarded as »le poète« (the poet) amongst painters, due to his symbolic shapes and colors.
Chagall lived for almost a century and if one can classify his style at all, then it would have to be expressionism. He worked in Russia, France (primarily Paris) and in the US (primarily New York) and was on an inner and outer journey throughout his life. [read more]

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