Lunar Facts and Fallacies

Mr. MoonbeamYou might want to stock up on the dark glasses, sunscreen, and pepper spray now, because tomorrow evening will be too late. The approaching full moon has already caused the usual behavior amplification during the past couple days—increased alcohol consumption, cruising, and testosterone-driven posturing by adolescent males, for example—but Saturday's full moon combined with the recent payday and a lunar eclipse is likely to bring out an above-average level of lunacy.

The initial phase of the operation—where our planet begins to cast its shadow on its little satellite—will commence just after 20:00 UTC, achieve its greatest effect at 23:21, and the whole thing will be over by the time 2:30 rolls around. During that time, the billions of camera flashes—since no one can figure out how to turn them off—coming from the millions of cameras trained on the event will have caused great embarrassment and stress for the moon, which is xenophobic by nature. This is why the moon always turns an angry shade of red during a lunar eclipse.

In certain parts of the world, the eclipse will be abruptly cut off just as things are starting to get interesting. If you happen to live in, for example, the western portion of Australia, you'll be forced to watch the moon disappear below the horizon before the eclipse really even gets going. This is because you didn't pay full price for your ticket, and will now have to wait until August 28 to see the rest.

Since tomorrow's eclipse will be at least partially visible on every continent, no one will be completely immune from its effects. Although some so-called experts insist that heavy cloud cover may obscure the event, they conveniently neglect to mention the effect of moon rays, which have been known to penetrate even reinforced concrete under certain conditions. You can run, but you cannot hide. What you can do, however, is exercise a bit of common sense before the sun sets tomorrow. Since moonlight is surplus sunlight spun off by the moon's rotation, a generous layer of sunscreen applied to those expensive sunglasses will minimize harmful effects during the eclipse. And to protect the eyes, I recommend giving each one a good burst of pepper spray before that bad moon rises. In this way, any damaging photons will be washed away by the tears before they're able to do permanent harm.



  1. Anonymous9:00 PM UTC

    What a marvelous image of tears washing away dangerous photons of moonlight! If one is overly sensitive to pepper spray, try collecting tears produced during a sob story and them spray them with a bulb atomizer while moongazing. In addition to refracting the dangerous photons, you might just create your own colorful moonbow!

  2. Anonymous6:27 PM UTC

    I'm planning to try your method this evening. Got my vial of tears, got my atomizer, got my moonarrows just in case.