Six Ridiculous Myths about the Moon Everyone Believes

moon-893267_6401.That a full moon is a bad omen.

For centuries, we’ve heard the phrase “It must be the full moon,” used to describe all types of bad luck, crises and general lunacy. Despite this, recent research shows that a full moon does not contribute to a higher rate of negative instances. One study conducted in Switzerland found that there was no significant increase in trauma admissions to the emergency room during a full moon than during any other phase; this was also true when the full moon coincided with Friday the 13th! Even when you consider other types of bad luck events, such as mental hospital admissions, psychiatric disturbances, crisis calls, homicides, and other criminal offenses, a full moon contributes no more than 1% of the variance in these activities than on any other random day.

2.That there is a feeling of weightlessness on the moon.

Images and video of the lunar landing as well as depictions in popular culture contribute to the idea that there is a feeling of weightlessness on the moon and in space in general. While the difference in gravity does indeed make one feel lighter, it would not be a complete feeling of weightlessness. Your weight on the moon would only be approximately 16.5% of what it would be on earth. Given this sizeable difference, it’s certainly understandable why it would feel almost like complete weightlessness!

3.That the surface of the moon is always very cold.

This is another instance in which pop culture depictions contribute to an image of the moon being a perpetually cold satellite. Certainly its white, icy appearance and stark desolation contribute to this image as well. It’s true that the moon can indeed be quite cold and it even has icy poles like Earth. The truth of the matter is that the moon actually experiences many temperature extremes. The actual temperature range on the surface of the moon can vary by almost 500 degrees Fahrenheit, with the warmest temperatures reaching 253 degrees F and the coldest dropping to a whopping negative 243 degrees F, which is the coldest temperature recorded in the solar system!

4.That there is a dark side to the moon.

Most people believe that the moon has a dark side, in that it never receives sunlight and cannot be seen from Earth. This has even led to speculation that it’s inhabited by some strange, mysterious extraterrestrial life or even giant beings! It turns out that a better description than dark side would be the far side of the moon. It is true that we perpetually only see the same side of the moon because the rotation of the moon takes about the same length of time as the Moon’s orbit around Earth, which means that the far side can only be seen from space. But this does not mean that the far side remains dark all the time. It actually receives as much sunlight as the near side and the only time in which it is actually totally dark is during a lunar eclipse. As the moon rotates, the sunlight falls on all areas of it, just as it does on Earth. NASA images have also confirmed that there is no extraterrestrial life on the far side of the moon!

5.That the length of the lunar cycle is 28 days.

It seems to be common knowledge that a lunar month is 28 days. References to this length of time can be found everywhere. However, the typical lunar cycle is about 29 and a half days. The shortest recorded lunar cycle clocking in at 29 days, 6 hours and 34 minutes and the longest being 29 days, 19 hours and 58 minutes. It is possible that the 28 day myth stemmed from being the average of both the lunar month and the length of time in which it takes the moon to complete one orbit around the earth, which is 27.3 days.

6.That the moon landing is a hoax.

Some studies suggest that as many as 10-15% of the American population believe that there is a possibility that the moon landing was a hoax. And it is easy to find many websites and information on the various reasons and conspiracy theories behind this belief. However, the photos in which conspiracy theorists base their hoax claims on also have perfectly logical explanations that indicate the landing truly happened. Furthermore, if it were a hoax, it seems highly unlikely that such a big secret could be kept and the money that was supposedly spent on the program to be hidden. Given this information, it would appear that the moon landing did indeed happen!

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