12.20.2010

Lunar Eclipse: Dumb Guy Question


I don't care about the lunar eclipse tonight, but maybe because I'm not smart enough to appreciate it. This is what happens: The Earth blocks out the sun hitting the moon so it will seem as if the moon disappears.  Isn't that the same thing as a New Moon (the opposite of a full moon)? I think I know the answer is "no", but I have no idea why.

I don't understand the moon. The sun? Now that I get. I understand why days get shorter in the winter and longer in the summer.  I remember demonstrating the science with a cantaloupe and a girlfriend in my kitchen once. (She was not impressed. Should have used different fruit.)  And I understand that a solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets between the Earth and the sun (we had a cool one when I was in high school.)

But the moon I don't understand. When, say, half of the moon isn't visible once a month, what's causing that if it is not the Earth? In fact, what causes the shadows on all of those images above? To quote Antoine Dodson, I "must be really, really dumb."

Yeah, I could look it up, but I have you.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

New moon is a lot like a solar eclipse but it's not DIRECTLY between the earth and the sun. (above or below)So we just see the dark side of the moon during a new moon. Half moon is when we are on the dark side of the earth looking out and seeing the sun shining on the moon and seeing half illuminated and half dark.

Anonymous said...

Were you asleep in 6th Grade Science class?

Anonymous said...

The phases of the moon are the moon's shadow on itself. Since the angle between the Earth, Moon and Sun changes constantly, we see different portions of the Moon lit up at any given time. This is the cause of the phases. A lunar eclipse is the shadow of the Earth falling on the Moon.

Double Fake Carl Sagan

Anonymous said...

The phases of the moon are caused by the us seeing "night" and "day" on the moon. New moon means you're looking at "midnight" on the moon, new crescent is "sun-up", and so forth.
If you line up the earth, moon, and sun (in that order) you get a solar eclipse because the moon is casting a shadow on the earth. If you line up the moon, earth, and sun (in that order) you get a lunar eclipse because the earth is casting a shadow on the moon.
The phases do not involve shadows. Think of the phases as one day on the moon equaling 30 days on the earth.
Now all of those darker and lighter areas are just different materials reflecting light differently and shadows cast bu craters. Just like the earth has rock, sand, water, mountains, etc. that reflect differently and cast different shadows.

Anonymous said...

You are so dumb. You are really dumb. For real.

Anonymous said...

The solar eclipse is when tom bishop is in a high speed chase that ends in a fatality. The phases of the moon just signify he's catching speeders on 380.
A lunar eclipse is when he's in an airplane crash. thAt only happens every couple years.

Anonymous said...

At least Ol'Tom earns his pay.
Let's see, we've had a Sheriff that poured concrete out of state instead of being a Sheriff. One Sheriff that left office early.
A RAB Cop that works his gun store and the RAB Cop car is parked there. An x-constable of Decatur that was busy running his gas station. Why are people elected that are unavailable and other positions like the Municipal of Bport warrant officer deleted when he worked everyday...?

Anonymous said...

I'll admit that I'm right there with you BG. Science is not my thing---I'm not a "green" person (for those of you who don't know there are 4 colors that represent all people--gold, orange, green and blue). You can be parts of each, but for me NO green in my make up at all! Green is the person who wonders "why" and likes figure things out. Very analytical----NOT me! Not that I'm dumb, just not interested. Not wired that way.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bubear...I'll come by your casa and show you a full moon.

Double Fake Blue Moon Odom

Anonymous said...

When a new moon occurs, the moon is between the earth and the sun, but not necessarily in a direct line. If they were in a direct line, then parts of the earth would be seeing a solar eclipse. When a full moon occurs, the earth is between the sun and the moon, but not necessarily in a direct line. If it was a straight line, then there would be a lunar eclipse.

Read this Bubear, there will be a quiz tomorrow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phases_of_the_moon

I knew I should have flunked you in Jr. High science.

Double Fake Mr. Herndon

Anonymous said...

Dude! Not only is it a lunar eclipse but a overlap with the winter solstice! First time an eclipse has coincided with a solstice since December 21, 1638, and the next one won't come around again until Hmmm... 2094. Wow,I sound like Bill Nye the Science guy!

RPM said...

The Gods are angry. Quick, somebody bring me a virgin!

RPM said...

Mr. Herndon rocked! I still remember the sodium experiment!

He also drove the West Side bus and loved to grab the parking brake.

Anonymous said...

4:12

We never see the dark side of the moon. That is why it is called the dark side.