Astronomy – there is much to learn. True, and sometimes we learn things that are just not quite correct. This is an attempt to address some common misconceptions. Most people understand that the Earth is round, and that the moon orbits the Earth. But there is so much more to understand.
Misconception No. 1 – “The moon radiates its own light.” The moon only reflects light from the sun.
Misconception No. 2 – “Moon phases are caused by the Earth’s shadow.” Moon phases are determined by the location of the moon as it orbits the Earth, and the angle between the sun and the moon as seen from Earth. The dark part of the moon is actually caused by the part of the moon which we see that is in the moon’s shadow.
To understand the universe, join us for public night at the Insperity Observatory, the first Friday of each month, sunset to 10 p.m.: humbleisd.net/observatory.
By Dr. Aaron B. Clevenson
Observatory Director, Insperity Observatory