It is said that there are more than 6,000 languages worldwide (this is hard to imagine) and it is a fascinating concept to think, there are probably as many words for “full moon”.
The full moon knowledge
Here we begin our little journey to the full moon. A few words about the fascinating quest of the greater purpose, that includes the full moon circulating through our lives. In layman’s terms and not always scientific (astronomy experts – don’t look too closely!). We would like to wish you illuminating moments. Enjoy!
A full moon is when the Sun and the Moon are facing opposite, being in opposite direction from an Earth perspective.
This might feel astonishing if one imagines that the Moon is on one side, the Sun on the other and the Earth in between? Shouldn’t the Earth throw a shadow onto the Moon? Bingo – this is exactly what she does! But only when the Moon is exactly on the Earth orbit, the so called “ecliptic”. When this takes place, we speak of a lunar eclipse!
The Moon needs 27.33 days to circle around the Earth. Something that is also referred to as “sidereal time”. But because the Earth orbits the Sun, just like the Moon orbits the Earth, the Moon has to travel two further days in order to resume the same position to the Earth and Sun. This is then called the “sidereal time”. In order to determine the point of time of the reoccurring full moon, the sidereal time serves as basis.
We already know now that the moon month is mostly shorter than the calendar month, being on average approximately 29.5 days. If full moon falls on the first or second of a month, it is possible that another full moon occurs in the same month, for instance in July 2004:
Friday, 2 July 2004, 01:08:54 pm
Saturday, 31 July 2004, 08:05:06 pm
This event is also known as “blue moon”.
The answer is: “everywhere at the same time”. This refers to the so called Universal Time (UT) though, which is used for general astronomical events. We have already learnt that full moon is an astronomical event, where the moon, sun and the earth play a role by being in a specific position. So, full moon takes place at a specific time in the outer space. This point of time is specified by astronomers namely by the Universal Time.
There are multiple ways of approaching this question. If we look at it from a purely theoretical standpoint, we might be tempted to say that the full moon is infinitely short, since the phases of the moon are changing continuously. The moon is not yet quite full shortly before the full moon, and is already waning shortly afterwards.
However, there is a practical aspect that lets us quantify the full moon as a finite and measurable span of time: Since the Sun is significantly bigger than the Moon, its rays are able to reach just a little over half of the Moon’s surface. This means that the timespan in which the visible side of the Moon’s surface is irradiated (as seen from Earth) is longer than infinitely short.
Whether scientists, astrologers or esoterics, they agree on one thing: the moon influences earth and life on earth. For instance, it regulates the tides through its magnetism. Also continents feel the consequence of this magnetism and either raise or lower their position sometimes up to 26 cm.
In nature it is a known fact: for some animal species, mating takes place at full moon. However, the examples that can be found on this subject are rather simple. Full moon serves in some cases indirectly as the cause (for instance through the high water levels during the tides that the horseshoe crab uses to deposit its eggs) or also as the signal for both sexes of a species to begin at the exact same time to safeguard their future existence (a particular type of fly or also corals). It is understood that also wolves are led by full moon when it is time to mate.
… that people are looking for an argument at full moon or are especially happy …
… that if full moon is surrounded by a haze, a person dies …
… that you raise your hat three times to the moon (being a man) or you make a curtsey (being a woman), in order to protect yourself from misfortune until the next full moon …
… that whoever does not chink glasses with full moon at least once, does not deserve any happiness [Greek toast] …
During a lunar eclipse, the Moon moves through the shadow of the Earth. Which means, that the Earth is positioned quite exactly between the Sun and Moon and casts its shadow onto the Moon. This is only possible at full moon and if some other requirements are met. Depending on whether the moon passes the partial or the core shadow of the Earth, we speak of a partial or total lunar eclipse.
The comedy horror film »The Fearless Vampire Killers«, directed by Roman Polański in 1967, is a classic of the genre. The film tells the story of the vampire scientist Professor Abronsius and his assistant Alfred (played by Roman Polański), who go on a vampire hunt in the snowy mountains of Transylvania and encounter various bizarre figures, and of course the beautiful daughter of the inn keeper Sarah (played by Sharon Tate, whom Polański married in 1968). The film entrances with its absurd and simultaneously funny atmosphere, created by the skillful interactions between light, music, scenery and actors. Thereby, satirical elements resonate as well, when the rotten aristocracy is represented in the form of the undead.
Like all natives of a country, the Native Americans, as inhabitants of the American continent, have a connection to the moon events and the full moon, too. It appears in mythology as much as in the relevant lifestyles. Instead of the term »Native American Indian« the term »indigenous peoples of the Americas« is generally used nowadays. It is strived for to be politically correct.
The full moon has always been a companion through time, through months, through seasons and the entire year. In the early days even more so, because daily life of people had not been strictly ruled by the clock yet. It was the sun that determined the day and the moon that brightened the night. Nowadays, clock and calendar are our time scales, which is advantageous but also contains a dark side. You unlearn more and more to estimate time periods and to experience them consciously. We have almost forgotten to perceive how different a full moon feels like in December compared to a full moon in July …
The moths »Actias luna« and »Actias selene« in the family of Saturniidae, carry the Moon in their name – maybe because they are attracted to light and we connect them with the night; although, they can also be active during the day. But perhaps it is because of the crescent shaped wings or the pattern on top of the wings, which remind us of eyes that may have contributed to the naming. Luna is the moon goddess in Roman mythology, Selene is the equivalent in Greek mythology.
Today is the last day of 2012 and we asked ourselves when there has been or will be a full moon in the past or the future at the turn of the year. What a fascinating picture, if you are imagining also the full moon next to the firework welcoming the New Year. The spectacle of humans meets the eternal beauty of the universe …
“Moonwalk” is a dance technique which fakes a forward motion by moving legs and feet, while in reality you are moving backwards. This is how the illusion is created that the floor is pulling away in a gliding motion, underneath the feet of the dancer. No other name can be more closely connected to this move than the name of Michael Jackson (who was born on 29th August 1958 on a full moon). Even though he is not the founder, in this case, one can refer to him as the figurehead. The key moment was Jackson’s performance of “Billie Jean” at the anniversary celebration “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” in 1983. From this moment on, the moonwalk’s triumph was not to be stopped and Michael Jackson had shaped his signature move.
What does an astronaut has on his wrist? You are not going to believe it, but it is something completely earthly: a watch. Because time is, next to the coordinates which show his position in space, the most important information for his mission and his life. And although, astronauts are surrounded by all kind of instruments, it has already been thought of in the beginnings of space travel to equip the crew with wrist watches. Of course with special models only.
The exploration of foreign celestial bodies is particularly interesting for science, when there is the possibility of life could exist. An important condition for this provides the evidence of water (mostly in frozen form, because it contains oxygen). One may simply say that where water exists, life could develop, or is already present.
There are movies that live on Mount Olympus. The movie »It’s a wonderful life« by Frank Capra from 1946, belongs to them. However, at the time of the release, shortly before Christmas of the aforementioned year, this had not been the case yet. Commercially, this movie was a flop and did not turn into a cult movie until decades later. Today, the story about George Bailey (played by James Stewart), who does many good deeds in a small American town, quarrels with his destiny on Christmas Eve and eventually, through meeting an unconventional angel, learns to recognise the value of life, is considered to be one of the best movies in motion picture history.
We have been pondering about, whether a banknote does exist with a depiction of the Moon. Thanks to Google, we found something and discovered a variety of examples from different countries – with popular and less well known currencies. On the left you can see a detail of a Swiss 10 francs note, which depicts our solar system with several planets, amongst them also our Earth and its Moon.