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The origin of the Moon

The Moon has not always been there. And although, no one has been present to observe its creation, scientists today, largely share the view that our Moon originates from a collision between Earth and another planet 4.5 billion years ago.

Our Earth – that looked completely different to how we know it to be today – had been circling with the planet Theia, which was about the size of our Mars, around the Sun. Some day, these two orbs clashed, produced an inconceivably powerful collision that totally destroyed Theia and catapulted an enormous amount of rocks into the orbit of Earth.

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A rainbow in the full moon light!

When the sun light is reflected and diffracted in fine water droplets in the air, a rainbow arises. So what happens if the same occurs in the moon light, is there also going to be a rainbow? Well, we find the idea of a moon rainbow quite fascinating …

Let’s take a short detour into physics. What we recognise in a rainbow as an arched bow made of colourful light, are the spectral colours that develop when the “white” sunlight fans out in its different wavelenghts, which we perceive in different colours. This decomposition does also take place, when the light  is sent through a glass prism.

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How does the moon fit onto a stamp?

We all grew up with stamps. Those small, delicate images which tell stories of countries and events and which can decorate an envelope quite wonderfully. Nowadays, letters are increasingly stamped with bar codes or rolling stamps. Still, the stamps are surviving and occasionally, the moon is to be seen on them. Mostly when a historic space travel event is being celebrated.

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The heartbeat of the full moon

We have compared the amount of visitors from our full moon pages with the curve of an electrocardiogram (ECG) and came across an astonishing similarity. It almost appears as if the attention that we humans give to full moon would have its own heartbeat …

It is obvious that the interest in full moon can be linked to its rhythm. The average duration of a moon month is approx. 29.5 days, so a little bit more than four weeks and a little bit less than one calendar month. One can safely say, a lot of people are paying attention to the moon at full moon and clearly a lot less so during the other moon phases.

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The reverse side of the Moon

As is generally known, the Moon is not a disc but a sphere and one could ask the question if we actually get to see different sides of this Moon sphere? The answer is: no! At least this is true for the observer from Earth.

Indeed, we always see one half of the Moon. This is because the Moon is locked into the Earth rotation. This is called »synchronous rotation«. It means that we are never able to see the side of the Moon facing away from us. And until it was possible to photograph the reverse of the Moon with space probes, nobody knew what we would find or how it would look.

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The full moon in romantic painting

Towards the end of the 18th century, about 200 years ago, Germany was about to be conquered by a new style of painting: the romanticism. The objective was, just as we understand it today, to emphasise feelings. But it was much more than this …

It was about the self-conception of an entire generation of artists, poets and musicians, who were trying to oppose the, up until then, reigning reason of the enlightenment era and also the classicism that was concerned with order. They countered with irrational contents i.e. fantasy, infinity or transcendency. It was what Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944) expressed about the artist in general at a much later point in time: »The fortune of an artist is the possibility, to express longing in forms.«

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The magic of vintage moonshine cards

It was about 100 years ago when a special kind of postcard was fashionable in Europe: the moonshine card. This is a kind of postcard with motifs of cities or landscapes that was to convey the effect of a nightly moonshine scenery. It was supposed to be romantic and this obviously appealed to people in those days. There were printed cards as well as photo-postcards that were »dipped into moonlight« in this way.

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The sexual position “full moon”

It is getting quite hot now, as there is indeed a sexual pose, called “full moon”, at least in the German language. This name has not been given in every country. In English it is referred to “reverse cowgirl”. This makes one curious …
In this position, one partner lies on the back (usually the man) and the other partner (usually the woman) sits on top in squat position, but in reverse and turning the back and buttocks towards the person lying underneath.

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The hare on the Moon

Have you ever seen a face or shape of an animal in passing by clouds? This tendency of our perception to find structures within an image or a pattern, is called pareidolia (derives from Greek eidolon = picture). Essentially, this is a misperception where we see objects changing subjectively. But this can also be so much fun and inspire our fantasy to search for these shapes and to find them. Children, in particular, are known to be true masters of this game.

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Full moon above Swan Lake

We recently went to a ballet performance – Swan Lake by Tschaikowsky – with the Moscow Ballet. Immediately, after the curtain rose for the first time, the stage set showed a nighttime scenery, with a castle at a lake and high in the sky a wonderful full moon. Later, when the »swans« appeared and everything was bathed in a bluish light, the entire room was  permeated with a fantastic and subtle atmosphere.

The dancers were sensational. Every movement danced with absolute emotional power and perfect precision. We were amazed and in awe. A true delight for the senses …

In the finale, the castle scenery came into action again and the entire performance was surrounded by full moon light.

Whether Tschaikowsky had the full moon in mind?

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