Lunar Factoids

I’ve recently been reading books about the moon – astrological and not – and my curious, info-gathering Gemini Sun and Mercury loved coming upon little facts about our closest astronomical cohort:

  • According to Seneca Indian tribal lore, the wolf sang the Moon into existence.  (I just love this.) 
  • Its orbit is 238,000 miles away from Earth, and, barring dramatic events such as earthquakes and tsunamis, that orbit increases by 1½ inches per year.  (I think the orbit increased a little more than 4 inches due to the recent earthquake in Japan.)  The orbital increase figured in the explanation for the recent ten-day-wonder uproar that had so many people thinking that their birth sign had changed. 
  • The Moon is one-quarter of the earth’s size, but appears to be three times larger when rising and setting.
  • Old clocks have the Moon’s phases on them so that, in the time before electricity, people could know when they could travel at night, guided and protected by its light.
  • A “Blue Moon” happens when there are two full moons in the same calendar month.  A Blue Moon happens every two-and-a-half to three years, but never in February, because there aren’t ever enough days in that month.

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