Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lunar New Year

What exactly is a lunar new year? This is not exactly science, but I am assuming it has a pagan background. Yesterday was a new moon, but there was one in January as well. But anyway, I want to see if you know your moon phases, and why they occur!

This illustration is excellent because it shows where the moon is in relation to Earth and the sun, and it shows what we see from Earth to make the phase. Notice that half of the moon (and Earth) are always illuminated by the sun, but due to the moon's position around Earth, we see different areas of the moon, some not illuminated. Since we are in the new moon phase today, the dark half of the moon is facing the Earth. It is called a new moon because the lunar cycle is starting again, a new cycle of moon phases. By the way, when we call it the "dark side of the moon", it's really the same side we see all along, because the same side of the moon always faces the Earth.

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