Blue Moon… more than something to sing about
From Harvest Moons, to full moons, to blood moons, to blue moons—we are fascinated by this distant object. We can do more than sing about it. We can get “Moonstruck”. We even venture to the moon and hopefully get back… aka Apollo 13.
On January 31, 2018 three events—a Blue moon, a Super moon, and a Lunar Eclipse—all happen at once.
Makes me think of that old standard sung by Billie Holiday, Sinatra, Elvis, Deano, Rod Stewart, and more. (FYI: Billie Holliday's is my favorite.)
But hey, don’t just sit there and howl, consider the moon!
I sailed on Merchant Marine ships. At night, there is very little man-made light. I would go up on the top deck, lay on my back and look at the sky, and stars, and moon. It is breath taking.
The moon—and its effect on us here on planet earth—is stunning. I am not talking Vampires and Werewolves. I am talking science.
Consider its size.
It’s the fifth largest moon in our solar system, it is 27% the size of our earth. So if the earth were the size of a 12-inch dinner plate, the moon would be like a tea cup saucer. If it were larger, the tidal swings we have would be unmanageable. Some of you living in the middle of a country may not think too much about the tides, but it is real…and by the way…most populations are near water.
If it were too small, there would be no real tidal surge. You might think, “So what?”
Well, the water flowing in, and flowing out, causes the nutrients to be replenished and cleanses the coastal waters, which allows for life in the sea. Not impressed yet? Okay…
Consider its location.
We all learned that the earth has a tilt. That tilt is what gives us seasons, and makes the temperatures manageable for life. That tilt is because of the moon and its distance from the earth! The tilt also stabilizes the rotation of the earth. That is a huge deal, allowing us to live.
I could write more, but suffice it to say, the moon is necessary for there to be life.
Not blown away yet? Okay. So how did the moon come about? Well, there are theories. One of the latest is as follows: 4,250,000,000 years ago, while the earth was in a molten state, an object the size of the planet Mars collided with the earth.
To collide with the earth, it had to start its journey much earlier and travel millions and millions and millions of light years—and then it did not just collide; no, it hit the earth Dead Center!
Part of the material stayed in the middle of the molten earth, and part of it repelled into space.
The earth as result got bigger (hey, absorb Mars, and you are going to put on some weight). It also resulted in a few other things. The parts, those “chunks”, that repelled into space, ultimately formed together creating the moon—you know, the one that is the perfect size and distance from planet earth so we can have life.
This perfect collision caused the then heavy-laden gas around the earth to be blasted into space, leaving an atmosphere similar to the one we have now. Before the blast, no sunlight got through. Afterwards, the sunlight got in, which means life! Stuff like algae grew. It also resulted in a higher iron content in our earth, and many other things. You can read more about it here.
All this science leads me to be in awe and wonder.
We would not be here without these precise events. Science shows me just how many things had to happen in an amazing exact way for life to exist. The science shows us that if things were just a little different, it is not that I would have two heads... no, you and I, we, would not exist. Life would not exist.
I wander through science standing in awe and wonder. I am not going to say this proves God’s existence. And I’m also not going to say that the current theory about a collision 4 billion years ago disproves God’s existence. What I will say, though, is that for humans to exist (and survive!), an amazing number of things had to perfectly happen.
Pondering that makes me wonder about all sorts of non-science thoughts. About my purpose, the reason for me being here, about love, bravery, and more. And we’re made to ponder, aren’t we?
Science and faith aren’t enemies, friends. They each thrust our minds to higher things.