Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

There is a moon that never goes out

The moon has been big, and the sun has been big, and the blue sky has been big. Finally. I was able to use the light, and the brightness, and the dryness, and get out and enjoy it. I know many other people did, too. This was a needed day of getting out and soaking in sun, sun with (finally) hints of spring warmth coming from it, spring warmth that should show up not too long from now. Again, finally.

Maybe I could do without...no, actually, I would do without the apparent/ alleged/ maybe-an-effect-maybe-not effects of the moon being fully lit these past couple of nights, if it means we could curtail the weirdness and difficulties through which so many of us have gritted our teeth this past week. (If your week has been frustrating, I share the feeling. It was frustrating for me, too.)

Because lately we've seen the full moon, and it almost seems like this time we've seen it longer.

Idea: what if, for some reason, we set up giant lights and reflectors to aim at the Moon, keeping it almost always fully lit? And doing this at most of its points in its orbit except for its new moon phase, when our lights and reflectors would not be able to compete with the Sun? Imagine that. The softening or eliminating of darkness on the face of our satellite, leaving it almost always big and bold like in 1930s monster movies, almost always at its biggest and most impressive, throughout its journey through our skies. Still with its light greys and dark greys of all that moondust, still with the "face" on the moon, still announcing Here I am! It would mean a brighter night sky. It would mean something to adapt to; we're not used to seeing the moon being full in certain parts of the sky. What pull would the moon have on us then? How would such a hypothetical view of the moon change from our current view of the moon? How would this change how we feel about the moon?

Another image: imagine the moon moving so fast in its orbit that we could see the change between phases in a night, the light subtly but noticeably playing across its surface as we stand and watch. Or -- let's get really into science-fictional territory -- another star (or some not-yet-known other source of immense light) passes near or through our solar system, its light playing across the moon.

Keep thinking about the moon.

Keep thinking about its influence on our thought, as it's moved through our dawn, dusk, and night skies for our species's entire history and, of course, far, far longer back than that. We can wonder if dinosaurs noticed it, and if the birds that are the remains of those world-dominating creatures have ever truly noticed it. We can wonder how long ago we started noticing it. Maybe the moon was the beginning of science fiction as we know it: one of the largest, most consistent things in our sky, second in prominence and consistency only to our sun, but subtler, and cooler, and with influence it perhaps took us ages to divine. ("Oh: the tides," our ancestors had to think, more or less, at some point in our past.) Unlike the sun, it changes, but predictably, and returns to looking a certain way 28 days after it was last seen as such. Lunar and solar eclipses: less predictable, until we could discern still subtler patterns in our skies, but eventually we figured that out, as well. And the process of figuring out those patterns got going because of seeing what we saw and thinking WHY do we see what we see?

The moon still has secrets. We've been there, walked on it and probed it and scanned it, and more about the moon has been hinted at this way. It will bring us more mystery, more puzzles to figure out. It will still surprise us, somehow, some ways.

Thoughts of the moon on a cold night. Not moon-cold; thank goodness we don't have THAT cold. But, for ever, something to inspire thoughts.
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