Rotating Moon — 28 Days in 24 Seconds

Everyone else in the universe who bothers to look at our Moon can see it as it appears in the above video. It’s rotating. But for humans who know only life on Earth and who see things from that limited vantage point, the Moon’s rotation is not immediately apparent. Nor is the Earth’s, but that’s a different story.

Because we learned to write millennia before we learned to do science, our earliest speculations about the world and the universe were unscientific, but they were written down, and those writings were regarded as wisdom.

Although now known to be woefully — albeit understandably — defective, those ancient writings with all their misconceptions are still out there, cherished not only because their antiquity and cultural information, but by much of the world’s population they are still consulted for information about the world. As a result of this misplaced veneration, ancient misconceptions have been amazingly difficult to correct. The “science” of the Babylonian empire not only persists, it is passionately defended by large numbers of people.

NASA first posted this video of the Moon’s rotation on 16 September — a week ago. You can see that here: Astronomy Picture of the Day, along with NASA’s brief explanation. This video is so unusual that newspapers around the world are picking up the story. Good for them. This is NASA’s explanation of the video:

No one, presently, sees the Moon rotate like this. That’s because the Earth’s moon is tidally locked to the Earth, showing us only one side. Given modern digital technology, however, combined with many detailed images returned by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a high resolution virtual Moon rotation movie has now been composed. The above time-lapse video starts with the standard Earth view of the Moon. Quickly, though, Mare Orientale, a large crater with a dark center that is difficult to see from the Earth, rotates into view just below the equator. From an entire lunar month condensed into 24 seconds, the video clearly shows that the Earth side of the Moon contains an abundance of dark lunar maria, while the lunar far side is dominated by bright lunar highlands.

The only thing we can add is our suggestion that this should be shown in every school in every grade. That way it will be seen by creationists, and it may give them a clue that there’s more to the world than an ancient tribe’s limited view of things.

In some cases it might play out like those occasional episodes of Star Trek where the crew of the Enterprise encounters a species that knows nothing beyond their world, and the plot requires that one of the natives gets accidentally beamed aboard and is shown a view of his little world from space. The reaction of creationists to this video could be something like that.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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22 responses to “Rotating Moon — 28 Days in 24 Seconds

  1. Yes, a Luna movie for the lunaticks. That’s good. Unfortunately I don’t think it will have that much impact on them. Their understanding of the universe has cratered and I don’t think they can dig themselves out of that hole. All they can do is moon over the realization that science is beyond them and the quest for knowledge cannot be stopped or the clock turned back. Just like the fact that the Moon will never rotate backwards.

  2. If you’ve had the good fortune to be able to observe a Total Lunar Eclipse in a rural area, you’ve likely witnessed a Moon you may not have expected to see. I had such luck in late 2004 while traveling through an area that had very low light pollution and clear skies.

    Once the eclipse is full the light red/yellow Moon deepens to a scarlet and the pulsing vertical umbra begins. Sadly I can’t find any online video that shows the pulsing vertical umbra refracting through it’s color cycle. Even when you understand what your looking at, the event is staggering.

    The sight of a red faced Man on the Moon combined with the constantly changing umbra must have been terrifying for primitive man, even today the mystical minded would possibly react in a similar manner. If you ever get a chance to see one, I strongly recommend taking the time.

    Spending a long night star gazing is well worth the effort, as you watch the planets and stars rise and set, you get a free show that is unequaled. But to be watch a TLE may leave you humbled before the universe.

  3. “they are still consulted for information about the world”
    Oh, but rightfully so – there is a lot of information to find about the way those people perceived the world back then. I like ancient science and often am amazed how many things they got right. Not everything, but many things.

  4. Ceteris Paribus

    NASA says: “…[A]n entire lunar month condensed into 24 seconds…”

    Why 28 days in just 24 seconds? Doesn’t NASA have enough bandwidth and pixels to do 28 days in 28 seconds? Must be some nefarious stuff going on here. Probably NASA deleted the 4 seconds that would have shown the entire world the truth about that alien base being built on the far side.

    Or maybe the 28/24 ratio is the result of using some atheistic metric units instead of the feet and inches that were good enough for our Founding Fathers.

    Is WND hiding this conspiracy?

  5. Ceteris Paribus speculates: “Or maybe the 28/24 ratio is the result of using some atheistic metric units …”

    How little you understand. 24/28 reduces to 6/7. And those mystical digits mean nothing because we’re talking about different units. And yet there is meaning here. Profoundly significant meaning. You are unable to grasp it, and I can’t reveal it. You have to work it out on your own.

  6. Thanks for mooning us, Curmy. Great video!

  7. Stephen Kennedy

    From the video you can see that the Moon rotates once on its axis in 28 days while the Earth rotates on its axis once in 24 hours. Hence the 28/24 ratio.

  8. Dean wrote: “Once the eclipse is full the light red/yellow Moon deepens to a scarlet and the pulsing vertical umbra begins. …to be watch[ing] a TLE may leave you humbled before the universe.”

    Or, if you are a fundamentalist creationist, it may leave you frantically looking up the relevant scriptures. Revelation 6, verse 12: “… the entire moon became like blood …”

    Hurray! The moon is red, so the Second Coming must be … well, coming! Again!

  9. That’s the perpetual problem with the Second Coming: It’s always just breathing hard…

  10. Con-Tester notes

    That’s the perpetual problem with the Second Coming

    Olivia’s perpetual problem with Curmy was the stage before that one–which she tells me would either be unable to commence at all, or else terminate with ridiculous alacrity.

    Whether it was that or his unconvincing attempts at a Cockney accent that finally drove her to the breaking point is a moot question. The point is, she is now desperately satisfied in my company now, and does not dwell on past traumas.

  11. eeeek! should be “drove her to the breaking point”…

  12. Megalonyx says:

    eeeek! should be “drove her to the breaking point”…

    Not only do I tolerate your childish insults, but I also have to fix them for you. I only do this because it amuses Olivia. Even now she’s laughing: “That poor lad can’t do anything right!”

  13. Lacking the appropriate context and background as a newcomer, I can’t pretend to follow the subtleties of this intermittent banter between Curmy and Megalonyx concerning one Olivia.

    Regardless, it’s still entertaining — mostly because of the unsubtleties of their repartee! 😆

  14. They’re referring to Olivia Judson, evolutionist hottie, who has never heard of either of them, and if she had, would get a restraining order on them both.

  15. Con-Tester says:

    Lacking the appropriate context and background as a newcomer, I can’t pretend to follow the subtleties of this intermittent banter between Curmy and Megalonyx concerning one Olivia.

    It’s an old story. It began here Olivia Judson, or … Springtime for the Curmudgeon, and Megalonyx began to reveal his delusions here: Olivia Judson on “Creation,” the Darwin Movie.

  16. Con-Tester notes the

    intermittent banter between Curmy and Megalonyx concerning one Olivia

    There are actually three Olivias:

    [1] The real one
    [2] Curmy’s inflatable facsimile of No. 1, above
    [3] Curmy’s hallucination of No. 1 which he worryingly projects onto No. 2

    You trace the course of his delusion over the set of his postings listed here, from his first moment of puppy-like infatuation in July 2008 (Olivia Judson, or … Springtime for the Curmudgeon), to the moment she finally managed to escape the underground dungeon in which he had brutally held her captive (Olivia Judson Takes a Sabbatical).

    Not surprisingly, the divine Olivia immediately returned home to her native shores. I am happy to report that she has responded well to my therapeutic ministrations and I am hopeful she will make a full recovery from her Curmudgeonly ordeal…

  17. It doesn’t matter whether the moon rotates or not. I’m just waiting for it to be in the Seventh House when Jupiter aligns with Mars.

  18. Thanks for the summaries and pointers re this obscure bit of curmudgeonly great-claw history. Oddly enough, I did hit upon discover Olivia Judson among ±150,000,000 Google hits — once I’d cunningly tempered the apparent irreducible complexity of searching for “Olivia with a strategically placed “Charles Darwin, which magically reduced the problem space by almost three full orders of magnitude.

    Hallelujah, there’s intelligent design in the Internet.

  19. Diogenes quips, “Olivia Judson… has never heard of either of them, and if she had, would get a restraining order on them both.”

    Wish I had thought of that! I have to admit, though, that I’m glad I hadn’t just taken a sip of coffee before reading Meg’s reference to an inflatable Olivia.

  20. Ceteris Paribus

    SC mystificates:

    How little you understand. 24/28 reduces to 6/7. And those mystical digits mean nothing because we’re talking about different units. And yet there is meaning here. Profoundly significant meaning. You are unable to grasp it, and I can’t reveal it. You have to work it out on your own.

    A positively Delphic reply. I have consulted Pythagoras, and was advised to pay attention to what the Sirens sing.

    But back to the moon thing. The 24/28 ratio NASA used only works for a geocentric cosmology. In a heliocentric system, the sidereal time between full moons is a bit more than 28-1/2 days. So there is about half a day missing, which provides plenty of lunar landscape for the Sulvans to hide from us.

  21. I found an update on Olivia’s career, with a new photo: Biologist’s career rooted in the wonders of Bermuda. To my amazement, it appears that Megalonyx somehow managed to get into the picture.

  22. The Olivia update article reveals, inter alia, that

    she wore the snorkel to bed

    –which is only a small example of the depravities our Curmudgeon inflicted upon her. So it is no wonder that, during her ordeal as his captive, she learned to practise

    “asexuality which is how to live for millions of years without sex…”

    Fortunately, the damage was not permanent:

    “I was looking at the exceptions to this rule.”

    And indeed, once she had made her escape, she found me…