Saturday, October 20, 2012

Moon's play - Waxing and Waning!




In the past adamant children were fed by mothers at dinnertime showing the mesmerizing moon on the sky; children too stopped their crying and chewed in the food seeing the charm of the moon. Children seem to be indulging in these thoughts: why this moon is not stable and goes on changing day by day - waxing sometimes and waning sometimes! OK. Now, why there are these waxing and waning in Moon?
This is due to the revolving of Moon around the Earth and passing between the Earth and the Sun in each of its revolution.


At dusk, when we see the 'Crescent (waxing) phase of moon' in the West, we actually see both the smaller illuminated arc-like part and the larger dark shadowed part of it. Here now it is near to the sun in its orbit. Then as it revolves towards us each day, overhead away from the sun, we begin to see a larger illuminated part and lesser shadowed part. This is the 'Half moon (first quarter)' seen at evening 6 pm. Later as it revolves away behind us (when we face the West at each evening), its illuminated part grows larger gradually each day till it is totally illuminated with no dark space on it. Now we turn around to see the 'Full moon' rise in the East at 6 pm. At midnight, we see it bright overhead. Up to this it is called the 'Waxing' of moon. Children see only these phases of moon at their dinnertime. After this, the moon travels away more down the eastern horizon and we don't see it at 6 pm; but it rises at a little 



time later each day - at night. Now the dark space starts slowly to occupy from its opposite side as an arc till the moon becomes 'Half moon (third quarter)'; this half moon lies overhead at dawn at 6 am. Then the moon revolves far off to in between the Earth and the Sun. On this way it goes through its 'Crescent phase (waning)'; then  it becomes the 'New moon' at its place near the Sun, when all of its disc becomes dark - at noon. Here we don't see the moon at all - even its faintly seen dark disc, as it is daytime now with bright sunlight glaring it out. This the 'Waning' of moon. 
It is a wonder play of our wonder moon in the outer space with the Earth and the Sun - a heavenly 'hide & seek' played for our kids!

Related posts in this blog:
Tithis, the rule of Hindu families!
Merry-go-round, Earth and train are interrelated! 

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