A case for the moon

Dear Phil,
Welcome home. You have had quite the adventure. While you were away capturing the dark side of the Sun, I was reminded of conversations we’ve had where you have mentioned how annoying the moon is*.

At the same time, the moon was regularly popping up in my life – and I don’t mean the regular appearance in the sky! For instance, I have been listening to this…

And there just seemed to be a bunch of other mentions of the moon, as well as a pretty amazing moon rise (which I failed to capture with any skill! – see above). Now, the Mae Trio tend to see the good in the Moon. But in other areas, I began to feel that the moon gets a bit of a rough deal. Sure, it gets in the way of a good shot of the stars every 29.5 days, but it has also been very good to folks like you, for example. Some places rely heavily on it.

I began to wonder how many of us really understand the true value of the small white dot moving over our heads.

There are so many examples of the benefits – from the basics of stabilising the Earth, so we don’t get tipped around, to more the in our face tidal movements of the water on Earth. We could also consider the theories of how the full moon affects us, and the things around us 😉

The presence of the moon feels subtle, yet always in our peripheral vision. Never really leaving us alone. Let us not forget the Moon’s contribution to Pareidolia, and how we see faces in the Moon, even if they do not exist. Beyond that, though, I can’t help feeling some other, subconscious something rolling around in our heads and hearts. Something magical, perhaps? Maybe we can find a balance between dark skies, and the beautiful moon? I suspect you already have (let’s not forget the time it allows you to rest each month!).

While the Moon features heavily in our popular music culture, I thought I’d leave you with another one from the Mae Trio. You might like the connection with the aquatic…

Yours in the night sky,


*that is certainly how I remember it, but in reality I’m guessing you actually see its real value.

2 Replies to “A case for the moon”

  1. I am torn between laying bare how thin my facade of moon hate truly is and robustly taking up the case for the negative in this existential debate, which while not previously documented has surely been running since the cave women first kicked their men off their iRocks and out to gather some food.

    Let me start by saying I am honoured to be the subject of your fifth blog post since 2010, noting also that my publishing record is not much better, and of late perhaps inferior (note the pun.. inferior conjunction.. hmmm.. oh nevermind).

    I do look forward to using Pareidolia in my next game of scrabble, where I expect to maintain an expression of ‘of course I know what Pareidolia is, i’ve always known that, doesn’t everyone?’. But importantly from a northern hemisphere viewpoint, there is no debate, no illusion about whether there is a man in the moon. It is indeed a man, and detailed enough to date him to the picasso era no less. (the brand of cigar cannot quite be distinguished but perhaps with a telescope powerful enough). If you can stand on your head you can verify that from the southern hemisphere without need for the frequent flyer miles or CO2 credits.

    On a more commercial note, I commend the innovative marketing from the Kimberley folks and their ‘staircase to the Moon’, no doubt first tweeted in text form a decade ago from Kimberley. Sure you could see this on just about any place on earth with water but all credit to them for staking claim to the illusion. Credit also to the Mae Trio.. now on high rotation in Mount Glasgow – if the moon has influenced their music then it surely deserves a few (neutron) gold stars.

    Most importantly, I would never begrudge the oceans and our human maritime ancestry their dance with the tides so I could never truly be anti-moon. However, although its albedo is quite low (think coal, aka Barnaby Joyce) it could still be a good deal lower without any impact on tides or rotational stability. Of course it may not be bright enough to howl at or read the newspaper by but I could live with that (and even sleep more easily with less light coming through the cracks in the curtains). Can we compromise on that?

    So yes I will tolerate, nay appreciate, the moon and never more so than in crescent phase in conjunction with sister Venus or brother Jupiter in the twilight sky.

    Just don’t talk to me about the super moon.

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