Sun & Moon Almanac for December 7 (Plus Moon Calendar & A Little Moon Lore)

The Solar Almanac for Friday, December 7

Sun Direction: 164.98° SSE↑
Sun Altitude: 28.80°
Sun Distance: 91.577 million mi
Next Solstice: Dec 21, 2018 4:22 pm (Winter)
Sunrise Today: 6:54 am↑ 118° Southeast
Sunset Today: 4:37 pm↑ 242° Southwest

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The Lunar Almanac for Friday, December 7

Moon Direction: 159.28° SSE↑
Moon Altitude: 29.45°
Moon Distance: 245698 mi
Next Full Moon: Dec 22, 201811:48 am
Next New Moon: Jan 5, 20197:28 pm
Next Moonset: Today5:13 pm
Current Moon Phase: Near New Moon (Waxing Crescent)
Illumination: 0.2%

–timeandate.com

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7 Unusual Myths and Theories About the Moon

Explore some of the theories earthlings have entertained about the moon throughout history.

1. Full moons make you crazy.

Since ancient times, full moons have been associated with odd or insane behavior, including sleepwalking, suicide, illegal activity, fits of violence and, of course, transforming into werewolves. Indeed, the words “lunacy” and “lunatic” come from the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna, who was said to ride her silver chariot across the dark sky each night. For thousands of years, doctors and mental health professionals believed in a strong connection between mania and the moon. Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, wrote in the fifth century B.C. that “one who is seized with terror, fright and madness during the night is being visited by the goddess of the moon.” In 18th-century England, people on trial for murder could campaign for a lighter sentence on grounds of lunacy if the crime occurred under a full moon; meanwhile, psychiatric patients at London’s Bethlehem Hospital were shackled and flogged as a preventive measure during certain lunar phases. Even today, despite studies discrediting the hypothesis, some people think full moons make everyone a little loony.

2. Aliens inhabit the moon.

In the 1820s, the Bavarian astronomer Franz von Paula Gruithuisen claimed to have glimpsed entire cities on the moon with his telescope. He wrote that the “lunarians” who lived there had built sophisticated buildings, roads and forts. Most of his colleagues scoffed at his assertion, but he eventually got a small lunar crater named after him. Sir William Herschel, a prominent British astronomer and composer, also thought aliens lived on the moon and made regular observations about the progress of their construction projects. In 1835, when the New York Sun published a series of fraudulent articles about the supposed existence of life on the moon (pulling off the so-called “Great Moon Hoax”), it falsely credited Herschel’s son John, a famous astronomer in his own right, with the shocking discovery.

3. The moon controls fertility.

Perhaps because the menstrual and lunar cycles are similar in length, many early civilizations believed that the moon determined when women could become pregnant. This could explain why female moon deities—from the Chinese goddess Chang’e to Mama Quilla of the Incas—figure so prominently in mythologies from around the world. In the 1950s, the Czech doctor Eugene Jonas stumbled across an ancient Assyrian astrological text stating that women are fertile during certain phases of the moon. He based an entire family planning method on this hypothesis, telling his patients they ovulated when the moon was in the same position as when they were born. According to another theory that persists to this day, full moons cause an uptick in births, flooding maternity wards with mothers-to-be in labor. Recent studies have turned up little statistical evidence for moon-induced baby booms, however, and most experts think any lunar effect on procreation is imagined.

4. The moon is a hollow spacecraft.

Several science fiction books of the early 20th century, including H.G. Wells’ “The First Men in the Moon,” take place within a hollow moon inhabited by aliens. In 1970 two Soviet scientists took this seemingly whimsical premise a step further, proposing that the moon is actually a shell-like alien spacecraft built by extraterrestrials with superior technology and intelligence. According to astronomers, the moon—though admittedly enigmatic as far as celestial bodies go—couldn’t maintain its mass and gravitational field if it lacked a dense core.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, some people believe that the Apollo moon landings were faked by NASA, which used doctored photos, staged videos and other ploys to dupe the public. Proponents of these hoax claims argue that technology was not advanced enough for astronauts to reach the moon and return home safely; they also point to ostensible signs of studio trickery, including the fact that the American flag planted by the Apollo 11 crew in the lunar surface appeared to flutter in the vacuum of space. In 2002, retired astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who became the second person to walk on the moon in 1969, grew so exasperated with one conspiracy theorist’s accusations that he punched him in the face. The septuagenarian space pioneer was not prosecuted.

6. The Nazis had a base on the moon.

After World War II, rumors circulated that German astronauts had traveled to the moon and established a top-secret facility there. Some even speculated that Adolf Hitler faked his own death, fled the planet and lived out the rest of his days in an underground lunar hideout. Connections were also drawn between flying saucer sightings—including the famous incident near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947—with the Nazis’ alleged UFO development program. These theories form the basis of the science fiction novel “Rocket Ship Galileo,” published by Robert A. Heinlein in 1947.

7. A rabbit dwells on the moon.

Intriguingly, legends from various traditions around the world, including Buddhism and Native American folklore, recount the tale of a rabbit that lives on the moon. This shared myth may reflect common interpretations of markings on the lunar surface—an alternate take on the fabled “man in the moon.” Shortly before Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969, mission control in Houston jokingly referred to the Chinese version of the story, telling the spaceship’s crew, “Among the large headlines concerning Apollo this morning, there’s one asking that you watch for a lovely girl with a big rabbit.” Command module pilot Michael Collins replied, “Okay. We’ll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl.”

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The Sky This Week from December 7 to December 9

Venus dazzles in the predawn sky, and gets a little help from the Moon December 3. Meanwhile, Mars and Neptune appear closer to each other under a dark sky than they will until the 23rd century.

By Richard Talcott

Friday, December 7
Although people in the Northern Hemisphere won’t experience the shortest day of the year for another two weeks (at the winter solstice December 21), those at 40° north latitude will see the Sun set earlier today than at any other time this year. Tomorrow’s sunset will arrive about one second later than today’s. The date of earliest sunset depends on latitude — the farther north you live, the closer it occurs to the solstice.
New Moon occurs at 2:20 a.m. EST. At its new phase, the Moon crosses the sky with the Sun and so remains hidden in our star’s glare.

Saturday, December 8
The days of viewing Saturn in the evening sky are just about over. In fact, tonight might be your last, best chance to see it this year. Although the magnitude 0.5 ringed world stands only 7° high in the southwest 45 minutes after sunset, a slender, two-day-old Moon serves as a guide. The two objects lie 3° apart and look beautiful through binoculars.

Sunday, December 9
Head outside in early evening this week and you can see the Big Dipper scraping the northern horizon. For latitudes north of about 40°, this conspicuous asterism never sets (“circumpolar” in astronomical parlance), though December evenings find it at its lowest ebb. This means that the constellation on the opposite side of the North Celestial Pole, the familiar W-shaped Cassiopeia, currently rides highest in the sky.

The Astronomy Magazine

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New Moon in Sagittarius

Friday – 7th December 2018

Current Moon Phase; NEW MOON

Moon Currently in Sagittarius

New Moon in Sagittarius:
The greatest need is to always search for something. In order to feel safe you might find that you need to have a goal, mission or philosophy that gives your life meaning. With Moon in Sagittarius you have an optimistic approach to life and you believe that things will get better even if you get into trouble.

Organs influenced by Sagittarius Moon Sign:
Organs: Liver, sacrum, thigh bone, tail bone, hip muscles, hip joint, lumbar vertebra, lumbar muscle.

These organs are now more sensitive so provide them with extra care.

Surgical operations:
Surgical operations are not recommended during the New Moon.

“Walk barefoot, listen to the wind, drink in the moon…. BE MAGICK”

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