Monday, September 15, 2008

jjnn monday: Science - 07

Welcome again to JJNN for Monday September 15th, 2008. Today we will be talking about the moon.

During this time of year in Japan everyone is looking up into the sky. They are looking to see the wonderful full moon that is up there at the moment. This time of year is called juugo no hi and it is the traditional start of fall in the old Japanese lunar calendar.

I love the moon. I used to go out at night and just lay down in my yard and look up at it and the rest of the sky for hours. Of course August was the best time to look at the moon because you could also see the perseids meteor shower at the same time.

Since we are on the subject of the moon here are a few random facts about the moon. The moon is about 380000 km from the earth. This is one light second so when we look up at the moon we are actually seeing as it was a second ago. Some evil alien race could be destroying the moon now and we would not even know it for another second. The name of the moon came from germanic word meaning month. We only actually see one side of the moon. This is because the moon's rotation was slowed and finally locked a long time ago. The far side of the moon is a lot more boring than the side that faces us because it is almost all white. If that side of the moon ended up facing us, we would not have grown up with any man in the moon (or in the case of the Japanese a rabbit that lives on the moon and makes mochi).

Any way, this leads to this article about the moon. Tokyo's science center known as the mirai-kan decided to hang up a copy of the moon so that everyone could see it even in the middle of the day. That's a great idea I thought. The made their 6.5 meter diameter moon out of 3000 panels of diodes. You can see a picture of it below.

They dimmed the diodes or made them brighter so they fit the NASA images of the moon. I would like to see this up close but today was the last day that it was on display. Maybe next year if they bring it out again.

I will leave you with this moon related clip.

Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 月(つき). It is pronounced tsuki and means to moon. You know I never could see a man in the moon. My pareidolia switch must be broken.

That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.

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