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A Story by mynameisyou

Story about the moon and why it looks like it is following us


The moon doesn't look as if it's very far away?  

As a child I remember popping the question. Why Does The Moon Follow Us As We Drive? And nobody gave an answer. But, I am going back more than 50 years ago. Today, children don't have to depend on their parents or guardians for such answers. They can go online and there are numerous answers right there. So this is for the people who've always been curious, but never took the time to inquire. Here it is.

The moon's distance from the earth averages 239,000 miles that is almost a quarter of a million (250,000) miles away. Yet, the diameter of the moon is 2,160 miles or less than the distance across the United States. For example: New York to California is about 3,000 miles. But when the moon is observed with a very large telescope, it looks as if it were only about 200 miles away, thus appearing much larger.

Because the moon seems so close and big to us, we sometimes forget that 239,000 miles is quite a distance away. It is this great distance that explains why the moon seems to follow us when we drive in an automobile and look up at it.

To begin with, our feeling that this is happening is just that�"only a feeling, just a figment of our imagination. When we speed along a road, we notice that everything moves past us. Trees, houses, fences, the road�"all fly past us in the opposite direction.

Now there's the moon, part of what we see as we look out, and we naturally expect it also to be flying past us, or at least to be moving backward as we speed ahead. When this doesn't happen, we have the sensation that it is "following" us.

But it's not. Because the distance of the moon from the earth is quite great. Compared to the distance our automobile travels in a few minutes, it gives the illusion of the moon following us. In essence as our automobile moves along, the angle at which we see the moon hardly changes.

In fact, we could go along a straight path for miles and the angle at which we would see the moon would still be basically the same. And as we notice everything else flying past, we get that feeling of the moon "following" us.

It's a mystery that is now solved for me but Science is right there at the doorstep with another mystery that remains unsolved.

© 2012 mynameisyou

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I love how your mind works!
This brings to mind how small things in our lives can seem so huge and loom over and follow us even when indeed they are not as threatening as they seem...forgive my poet mind for roaming to that. It is so true that we seem to not need each other face to face sad. The answers are all available as soon as the questions come to us...but then, the answers to some questions can only be found in the heart. Well done!

Posted 2 Years Ago

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Added on June 16, 2012
Last Updated on June 16, 2012
Tags: Why Does The Moon Follow Us, New York to California, a quarter of a million



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