fool moon

Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Tue Dec 21 18:50:02 UTC 1999

Yesterday's Boston Globe had an article about this much-trumpeted event.
Summary: It ain't all it's cracked up to be.

The article is no longer on their web site, so I can't copy it here. But I
xero'ed it yesterday and put it on my bulletin board, over the printout of the
Internet-carried hype on the subject that I had posted there earlier. Some
extracts, copied the old-fashioned way (by hand):

"Add up all the effects, and this full moon turns out to be about 19 percent
brighter than average.
   "That's a smaller brightness boost than it sounds. The difference would be
just detectable to the human eyhe if you could put an average full moon next to
Wednesday's in the sky and compare the two. Failing that, you'd need meauring
instruments. A good photographer's light meter, carefully calibrated against an
average full moon, would do the trick.
   "But a moon to dzaale the world? Fugeddabout it."

The Lakota Sioux ambush "actually happened at high noon."

"In fact, Roger W. Sinnott of Sky & Telescope magazine finds that the moon was
actually brighter (by a hair) on January 15, 1930, January 4, 1912, and other

[Quotations are from "Big moon myth sweeps Internet", article in Boston _Globe_,
Dec. 20, 1999, p. C4, by Alan M. MacRobert, Globe Correspondent and associate
editor of Sky & Telescope magazine in Cambridge (, and are
probably copyright 1999 by The Boston Globe.]

-- Mark

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