Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lack of understanding

I'm just reading an article in the Vancouver Sun titled "Dark side of the moon enigma solved?" It's astonishing to me, considering that we live in the age of space travel, that people still think that there is a "dark side". Everyone has seen that the moon always presents the same face to us, as it orbits around the Earth once a month (the word "month" comes from "moon"). This means that the moon turns around it's own axis of rotation once a month as well, as seen from a point outside the moon's orbit. This also means that sunlight illuminates every part of the moon in turn, as the moon travels around the Earth, just as most parts of the Earth receive sunlight every day. The side of the moon we never see from Earth is called the "far side", not the "dark side"; it gets it's sunshine just like the rest of the moon.

To see this kind of misunderstanding perpetuated in a reputable newspaper is lamentable. In my opinion, it shows a very limited knowledge of our place in the universe and a lack of scientific understanding.