Friday, June 13, 2008

Moonlight

The moon's back, and the world is once again awash in light. All but the brightest stars and auroras have been frightened off, and the broad band of the galaxy overhead is no more.

It would be hard to exaggerate the change outside when the moon comes up. I know I already wrote a post about this earlier, but I think it's worth repeating just how bright moonlight is when the only thing you've got to compare to is the gentle twinkling of starlight or the unearthly light of the auroras.
We don't have a day-night cycle here. The sun rises in September, and sets in March, the rest of the time it's either full blazing daylight or the long winter night. Almost.

The moon rises and sets every two weeks, and makes for a fine substitute sun. None of us have seen the real sun in 3 months, and have largely forgotten what real sunlight looks like.

The light-dark cycle here, rather than being a daily occurrence following the sun, traces the month long lunar cycle. It's become easy to internalize these as extra-large days, not as bright as remembered from our previous lives, nor as frequent, but days and nights nonetheless.

A new day every month is still a far cry from ordinary, but compared to the yearly rise and fall of the sun, it's wonderfully frequent. The sun may not rise every morning to set in the evening, but at least the moon comes and goes on a timescale we can follow.

2 comments:

SuperRadz said...

Awesome Blog Keith, glad I found it. You have to tell us all what's up with the condoms...

http://www.greendaily.com/2008/06/12/its-getting-hot-in-here-antarctic-base-gets-16-500-condoms/?icid=200100397x1204179417x1200167936

Blake said...

Keith, you're a frequent topic of conversation at MWSMAS. You missed a solid meeting on Thursday, probably would have been worth trekking back for (even from the south pole), 250 bottles.... Anyway, hope you're having fun, Shawn tipped me off to the blog.