Wednesday, October 3, 2007

10.03.07 THE WANING


Our October moon is waning. It will have completely disappeared behind the shadow of the earth by the tenth of this month. The foliage of the black walnut, Juglans nigra, is also on the wane. It seems to be the first tree around here to completely give up its leaves. By the new moon it will probably be just a skeleton in the forest. All its leaves safely discarded before the frost has made its first nip.

2 comments:

mwfrost said...

Lest your younger readers be misinformed, I have to point out that the new moon is not, in fact, obscured by the earth's shadow. Rather, the sun lights only one side of the moon at a time, and the phases are cause by how much of that illuminated side is visible from earth. The shape of the shadow on the moon is cause by the moon's spherical shape, not by occlusion from the earth.

Sorry to be a pedant, but this is as fundamental as it is frequently misunderstood.

Thanks for helping me feel a little excited about the onset of autumn!

mwfrost said...

"...the phases are caused..."

-Matt Frost