April Pink Moon
Hello, Dear Readers! Meet again with Silvana! So everyone, on April and May, we have seen two Supermoons for 2021. Have you ever wondered why they're called Supermoon? The term "supermoon" was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 and refers to either a new or full Moon that occurs when the Moon is within 90% of perigee, its closest approach to Earth. Since we can't see a new Moon (except when it passes in front of the Sun), what has caught the public's attention in recent decades are full supermoons, as these are the biggest and brightest full Moons for the year.
These two full Moons are virtually tied, with the full Moon on May 26, 2021, slightly closer to the Earth than the full Moon on April 26, 2021, but only by about 98 miles (157 kilometers), or about 0.04% of the distance from the Earth to the Moon at perigee.
According to this almanac, as the full Moon in April, this is the Pink Moon, named after the herb moss pink, also known as creeping phlox, moss phlox, or mountain phlox. The plant is native to the eastern United States and is one of the earliest widespread flowers of spring.
Other names for this Moon include the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes of North America, the Fish Moon, as this was when the shad swam upstream to spawn.
The Craters of the Moon
Dear, Readers! Welcome back to Alte Sententiam. This month we will have The Moon as our theme. Of course you would be familiar with the Moon as you have seen it every day. Speaking of the Moon, have you ever wondered why the Moon has many craters? Its surface is basically covered with thousands of craters.
Craters are roughly circular, excavated holes made by impact events. The circular shape is due to material flyingㅡby asteroids and meteorites colliding with the lunar surfaceㅡout in all directions as a result of the explosion upon impact, not a result of the impactor having a circular shape.
Sometimes the force of the impact is great enough to melt some of the local rock. If an impactor is large enough, some of the material pushed toward the edges of the crater will slump back toward the center and the rock beneath the crater will rebound, or push back up, creating a central peak in the crater. The edges of these larger craters also may slump, creating terraces that step down into the crater.
Both the Earth and the Moon have been hit many, many times throughout their long 4.5 billion year history. Given its size, Earth has the possibility of getting hit because it's bigger than the Moon. But, why does the Moon have so many craters compared to the Earth? The main difference between the two is that Earth has processes that can erase almost all evidence of past impacts. The Moon does not. Pretty much any tiny dent made on the Moon’s surface is going to stay there.
There are three processes that help Earth keep its surface crater free that the Moon can't do:
The first is called erosion. Earth has weather, water, and plants. These act together to break apart and wear down the ground. Eventually erosion can break a crater down to virtually nothing. The Moon has almost no erosion because it has no atmosphere. That means it has no wind, it has no weather, and it certainly has no plants. Almost nothing can remove marks on its surface once they are made. The dusty footsteps of astronauts who once walked on the Moon are still there today, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The second thing is something called tectonics. Tectonics are processes that cause our planet’s surface to form new rocks, get rid of old rocks, and shift around over millions of years. Because of tectonics, the surface of Earth is recycled many times throughout its long history. As a result, very few rocks on Earth are as old as the rocks on the Moon. The Moon has not had tectonics for billions of years. That’s a lot more time for craters to form and stay put.
The third thing is volcanism. Volcanic flows can cover up impact craters. This is a major way impact craters get covered up elsewhere in our solar system, but it is less important than the recycling of crust here on Earth. The Moon once had large volcanic flows way in the past that did cover up many of the bigger earlier impacts, but it has been without volcanism for around three billion years.
The Moon may attract fewer bits of space rock than the Earth, but the Moon is powerless to do anything about it after it has been hit. Once something hits the Moon, that event becomes frozen in time. Earth, on the other hand, simply brushes these impact craters off and moves on with its life. No wonder there are so many craters on the Moon compared to Earth, right?
The Phases of the Moon used to be used to track the passing of time. They have cultural significance in many Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. The phases of the moon are determined by the shape of the Moon's surface that is lit by the sun and visible from Earth.
The phases of the moon are: new moon, waxing crescent, waxing quarter (also know as first quarter or half moon), waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, waning quarter (also known as last quarter, disseminating moon, or half moon), and waning crescent (also known as the balsamic moon).
Of the listed phases, the principal phases are the new moon, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter. Waxing and waning both refer to the changing of the shape of the sunlit portion of the Moon. Waxing indicates that the sunlit portion is getting larger while waning indicates that it is getting smaller. Gibbous means that more than half of the Moon is illuminated by the Sun.
In Astrology, each of the Moon phases can represent changes in how you approach things and your emotional state.
The New Moon occurs when the Sun and the Moon are on the Same side of Earth, so the Moon appears to be dark. The New Moon is said to represent new beginnings and fresh starts. This could be the ideal time to start a new project or hobby.
The Waxing Crescent phase occurs when the Sun begins to move closer to the moon. It causes a sliver of the moon to become sunlit. It represents intention, hopes, and wishes. This could be a good time to work on gathering information to further your goals.
The Waxing Quarter (First Quarter or Half Moon) is when the Sun moves closer to the moon and causes half of the Moon to be sunlit. This is said to be when you will start seeing obstacles to your goals. During this phase you will face challenges and you may need to make decisions on how to overcome them. Then you will have to overcome your challenges through actions.
The Waxing Gibbous phase is when most of the Moon is visible due to the Sun moving closer to the Moon. This phase represents reviewing and making changes. This is a good time to take a look at how you are trying to achieve your goals and making changes to your plan(s), if needed.
The Full Moon is when the side of the Moon that is visible from Earth is fully sunlit. This phase is when emotions run high. It is also when your goals that you have been working towards may come to fruition.
The Waning Gibbous phase occurs when the Sun starts moving away from the Moon which causes a sliver of the Moon to become dark. This phase represents gratitude and generosity. It is a good time to share your success with others.
The Waning Quarter (Last Quarter, Disseminating Moon, or Half Moon) is when the Sun moves even farther away so that only half of the Moon is sunlit. It represents letting go and forgiveness. This is a good time to reflect on your life and relationships. During this phase you should let go of your grudges and forgive those who have wronged you.
The Waning Crescent (Balsamic Moon) phase occurs when the Sun has moved far enough away so that only a sliver of the Moon is visible. This phase represents rest, recuperation, and reflection. This is a good time to reflect on all that has happened over the Moon's cycle and to recuperate from the ups and downs that you have experienced in pursuit of your goals.
Moon Myths & Legends
Man's fascination with the moon has existed from the beginning of time. Mere scientific curiosity laid aside, the myths and legends surrounding the silvery orb range from the fantastical to psychological and everything in between. So buckle up, and enjoy a fascinating escape to the "Lunar Zone".
Everyone knows that the moon plays a crucial role in the lives of those poor unfortunates affected by lycanthropy. But that is far from the only behavior it is believed to affect. In fact, the very word, 'lunacy' derives from the Roman Moon Goddess, Luna. According to myth, Luna drove her chariot across the sky each night. It was Hippocrates in the 5th century that stated:
" One who is seized with terror, fright, and madness during the night is being visited by the goddess of the moon."
Of course, it wasn't all bad news. Convicted murders in 18th century England found a way to actually use this belief to their advantage. To campaign for a lighter sentence, all they had to do was claim to be afflicted with lunacy, provided that the murder was committed on a full moon. There were plenty of unscrupulous medical practitioners who could be counted on to back their claims, for a fee, of course.
There has always been speculation about life in outer space. Long before man landed on the moon, In 1820, Bavarian astronomer Franz von Paula Gruithuisen claimed to have glimpsed entire cities on the moon with his telescope, complete with sophisticated roads, forts, and other dwellings. People may have scoffed at his idea of these 'luneans', but he did get a small lunar crater named after him, so there is that.
Thanks to H.G. Wells' book, The First Men In The Moon, which proposed that the moon was hollow and inhabited by aliens, in 1970, two Russian scientists, Michael Vasin and Alexander Shcherbakov, came out with a theory of their own. They proposed that the moon is actually a shell-like alien spacecraft built by extraterrestrials with superior technology and intelligence. I don't buy that for a minute! Everyone knows that the Man in the Moon lives there!
Speaking of the Man in the Moon, according to an old Germanic myth, it is believed that a man was banished there after being caught stealing from his neighbor's garden. The Romans held the same belief, only insisting that the man was a sheep thief, not a vegetable thief. Chinese mythology asserts that the goddess Chang’e was stranded upon the Moon after consuming a double dose of immortality potion.
I'm sure you're familiar with the saying that the moon is made of green cheese. According to an old Serbian tale, it began with a fox who tells a wolf that the reflection of the moon in a lake is a delicious wheel of cheese. The wolf tries to drink up all the water to get the cheese, but he can’t fit all the water, so he bursts. Since then, it has come to be rather synonymous with someone who is gullible in nature. In fact, in 1638, English philosopher John Wilkins said, “You may … soon persuade some country peasants that the moon is made of green cheese .” Silly peasants!
The Inuit people have a rather interesting myth about the moon's phases. According to legend, the moon god (Anningan) and his sister, sun goddess (Malina) had a nasty quarrel, which ended with Malina storming off with Annigan in pursuit. It is said that he was so intent on the hunt that he forgot to eat and grew thinner, thus the moon's waning phase. When the moon appears to disappear completely, Inuits believe Anningan has gone to find food. When he ultimately catches up to his sister, (a rare event), the result causes a solar eclipse.
So there you have it; moon myths and legends. I hope you've enjoyed the ride!
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