Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lunar Logic

Not getting this "darkest day in 456 years" story. So help me out here...

1. The full moon will occur on the exact day as the winter solstice, shortest day of the year, the first time since 1999.

2. During this full moon on the solstice there will also be a full lunar eclipse. The last time that occurred was 372 years ago, in the year 1638, according to the US Naval Observatory. They are the moon experts, by the way.

3. So why are Drudge and others saying 456 years? Well, they are crediting NASA, but I can't find any numbers on NASA's web pages. True, I could be missing some kind of Muslim conversion factor.

4. The media is making a big deal about it being the 'darkest day'. It'll be pretty dark during the short period of time the full moon is in eclipse, then it will be a full moon again, and pretty darn light. For nighttime, that is. A very long night.

5. But wouldn't it be darker during a New Moon? You know, that one day a month when the ole man completely shuts off the light all night? When was the last time a new moon occurred on the solstice?

But OK, who am I to poop the party? We can get into the weird here. Some will see it as a sign of the times--or maybe that our cosmic visitors have arrived. Others may see a sign--of the end times. Others will make fun of the whole thing while others wonder 'which moon'? I'm just wondering whether it explains why that Giants punter punted the ball like he did.

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