Sunlight reflected from Earth illuminates the near side of the Moon the Sun cannot directly illuminate. Unlike the Sun, the Moon does not glow by itself but is only visible when illuminated by sunlight. During crescent moon, Earth blocks some sunlight that would at full moon completely illuminate the near side of the Moon and the Sun can only directly illuminate a part of this side of the Moon. Earth, however, also reflects some sunlight which then dimly illuminates the rest of the near side of the Moon, a phenomenon called earthshine.
“I with borrow’d silver shine,
What you see is none of mine.
First I show you but a quarter,
Like the bow that guards the Tartar:
Then the half, and then the whole,
Ever dancing round the pole.”
—Jonathan Swift, On the Moon, 1853
One rotation of the Moon around its own axis takes as long as it takes the Moon to orbit Earth once. From Earth therefore, an observer at any given location always sees the same side of the Moon. The side visible from Earth is called the near side and the unseen side far side.
The Moon does not glow by itself but is only visible when illuminated by the Sun. As Earth orbits the Sun and the Moon orbits Earth, visibility of the Moon observed from Earth varies. The shape of the visible part of the Moon is called the phase of the Moon or lunar phase. A full moon is when an observer from Earth can fully see the near side of the Moon and a new moon is when the Moon is completely invisible. In between these lunar phases, the visible part of the Moon either increases (waxing) from new moon to full moon or decreases (waning) from full moon to new moon.
Lunar phases occur at slightly different times depending where on Earth they are observed. The shapes of the waxing or waning Moon also differs depending on from what hemisphere it is observed: in the northern hemisphere the Moon waxes from right to left and in the southern hemisphere from left to right and wanes vice versa. Near the equator, the moon waxes from bottom to top and wanes from top to bottom.
A supermoon’s bright light illuminates the clouds over Germany, 2018. As the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is slightly elliptical, the Moon is sometimes closer to Earth and sometimes farther away. When it is closer to Earth, it seems bigger and brighter. And when it is closest to the Earth at full moon, it is called a supermoon.
The Moon today is also at full moon, but it is actually at a point in its orbit farthest from Earth, making it look smaller and less bright. It is accordingly called a micromoon or minimoon.
“Thou reigning Beauty of the Night,
Fair Queen of Silence Silver Moon,
Whose gentle gentle Beams and borrow’d Light
Are softer Rivals of the Noon.”
—Isaac Watts; Sun, Moon and Stars, Praise Ye the Lord; 1742
The Moon is the second-brightest object in our sky after the Sun, but unlike the Sun, the Moon does not glow by itself but is only visible when illuminated by the Sun. The Moon is Earth’s sole natural satellite, a roundish mass orbiting Earth. It takes the Moon about thirty days to reappear in the same position again when observed from Earth and we accordingly use the Moon’s orbit around Earth to calculate our months.
The darker areas on the Moon’s surface are lunar plains consisting of solidified lava pools and the brighter areas are lunar highlands. There are also darker and brighter spots on the Moon’s surface. These are craters caused by collisions with asteroids and comets.
“…music, that real moonlight in every gloomy night of life.”
—Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Titan: A Romance, Vol. II, 1862, 125. Cycle, p. 375
It seems that especially artists tend to question themselves and their art constantly. While this can make going through with creative processes difficult, it also helps getting better and better and creating magical moments, for the artists as well as for their audiences.
Those of you who have followed this blog know that I am a huge fan of Aaron Howard. You can in fact listen to a few songs of his when watching some of the gallery slideshows here on this website. He has recently released a new album called Who I Am and I just love it! The album has some beautiful ballads but also some songs rockier than those on his previous album Heart on Fire. I’ve always loved Aaron’s music, but with his new album he has once again managed to surpass himself. Aaron simply sings wonderful songs full of deep lyrics with a voice alive with emotion that comes from the depths of his heart and soul.