Explaining the Moon Cycles

Explaining the Moon Cycles

The moon cycle, also referred to as the lunar cycle, is the name for the moon’s orbit around the Earth. The appearance of the moon as it orbits is called the moon phase, which indicates at what point the moon is in the cycle. The sun always illuminates one half of the moon, but we can only see a certain percentage of that depending on its location as it rotates around the Earth. In the average 29.5 days that it takes for a New moon to be born, there are 8 different categories that identify these different phases.

The first, a New moon, is not visible. It is also sometimes called a Dark moon, and it appears at the beginning of a moon cycle. Second is the Waxing Crescent, which appears as a sliver on the right side of the moon. The First Quarter is commonly called a Half moon because half of the moon is lit up on the right side. Next comes the Full moon, where the entire half illumination is visible from Earth. As the moon continues to rotate, the illumination recedes so a sliver darkens on the right side, leaving the left three-quarters bright. The Third Quarter is another Half moon, but this time the illuminated part is on the left side. Finally comes the Waning Crescent, where the sliver is seen on the left side. After this, the moon has returned back to the invisible New moon.

The orbital distance of the moon from the Earth influences the ocean tides as well as the lengthening of days. It has subsequently had a cultural influence on calendars and mythology. Moon cycles are often thought to affect humans’ emotions and feelings. The full moon and new moon in particular are known to cause dramatic emotional or behavioral changes in both males and females alike. Although, females are thought to be more effected by the cycles of the moon. Astrology claims that when there is a Full moon, stress is more recurrent and people are more sensitive. People will therefore care for their own needs, rather than the needs of others. Conversely, astrology suggests that a New moon brings people’s emotions back to normal. People will care more about other people’s ideas and there will be more energy with which to accomplish them.

The lunar cycle has been hypothesized to have a variety of effects upon humans. The moon is commonly thought to affect a woman’s fertility because of the corresponding menstrual cycle, but the theory remains largely unfounded. In the past, it was tradition to not perform surgery on the full moon because patients were thought to have too much blood loss during that time. Other medical conditions include greater instances of gastrointestinal bleeding particularly in males due to the lunar effect. Schizophrenic patients are thought to have a lower quality of life and mental health during a full moon. Epileptic patients as well as non-epileptic patients both supposedly suffer a greater number of induced seizures during the full moon period. These hypothesis are largely unproven though, based upon statistical correlations. Nonetheless, the superstition and folklore has found its way into the news, as the full moon was blamed for the outcome of voter behavior in the 2000 presidential election. Crime rates are often tried to be correlated with the cycles of the moon. Perhaps the modern day werewolf comes alive in all of us, or perhaps we just don’t know enough about the moon effects yet.




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