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    Showing posts with label Moon. Show all posts

    Does the moon really affect our actions?


    The findings revealed that nocturnal sleep duration full moon compared to new moon reported an average decrease of five minutes.
    To establish if lunar phases somehow do affect humans, an international group of researchers studied children to see if their sleeping patterns changed or if there were any differences in their daily activities.
     To establish if lunar phases somehow do affect humans, an international group of researchers studied children to see if their sleeping patterns changed or if there were any differences in their daily activities.

    While the full moon cannot turn people into werewolves, some people do accuse it of causing a bad night’s sleep or creating physical and mental alterations. But is there any science behind these myths?

    To establish if lunar phases somehow do affect humans, an international group of researchers studied children to see if their sleeping patterns changed or if there were any differences in their daily activities. The results were published in Frontiers in Pediatrics.

    “We considered that performing this research on children would be particularly more relevant because they are more amenable to behaviour changes than adults and their sleep needs are greater than adults,” said Dr Jean-Philippe Chaput, from the Eastern Ontario Research Institute.

    The study was completed on a total of 5,812 children from five continents. The children came from a wide range of economic and sociocultural levels, and variables such as age, sex, highest parental education, day of measurement, body mass index score, nocturnal sleep duration, level of physical activity and total sedentary time were considered.

    The findings obtained in the study revealed that in general, nocturnal sleep duration around full moon compared to new moon reported an average decrease of five minutes (or a one per cent variant). No other activity behaviours were substantially modified.

    “Our study provides compelling evidence that the moon does not seem to influence people’s behaviour. The only significant finding was the one per cent sleep alteration in full moon, and this is largely explained by our large sample size that maximises statistical power,” said Chaput.

     The clinical implication of sleeping five minutes less during full moon does not represent a considerable threat to health. “Overall, I think we should not be worried about the full moon. Our behaviours are largely influenced by many other factors like genes, education, income and psychosocial aspects rather than by gravitational forces,” he added.

    Best Time To Observe Moon's Craters, Mountains

    Most astronomy neophytes might say the best time is when the moon is at full phase, but that's probably the worst time. When the moon is full, it tends to be dazzlingly bright as well as flat and one-dimensional in appearance.

    In contrast, the interval when the moon is at or just past first quarter phase, or at or just before last quarter phase, is when we get the best views of the lunar landscape right along the sunrise-sunset line, or terminator. (The terminator can also be defined as that variable line between the illuminated portion and the part of the moon in shadow.)

    Along with the fact that a half moon offers more viewing comfort to the eye than a full moon does, using a telescope with just small optical power (magnifications of 20- to 40-power) or even good binoculars allows us to see a wealth of detail on the surface. Around those times when the moon is half-lit or in its gibbous phase, those features lying close to the terminator stand out in sharp, clear relief. [Photos: Full Moon Captivates Skywatchers in February 2012]

    Next chance

    The moon next arrives at first quarter phase on Leap Day: Wednesday (Feb. 29) at 8:21 p.m. EST. That will be the moment when its disk is exactly 50 percent illuminated. Lunar mountains will be visible as the sun lights them from the right.

    How does the moon's brightness compare now with full phase? Most would probably think it's half as bright, but in reality astronomers tell us that the first quarter moon is only one-eleventh as bright as full. This is due to the fact that a half moon is heavily shadowed, even on its illuminated half. And believe it or not, it isn't until just 2.4 days before full that the moon actually becomes half as bright as full.

    In contrast to a half moon, a full moon is almost completely illuminated, especially right around its center, where the sun shines straight down into all the microscopic crevices. Except for perhaps around the moon's immediate edges, you will find no shadows at all.

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