Friday, February 3, 2012

Luna Selene


The USSR captured the first photos of the moon taken from space in 1959 by the Luna 3 probe. 46 years ago today, the Soviet space program also achieved the very first soft landing on the moon, with Luna 9.

Earthlings have sent 94 spacecraft to the Moon with various orbiting, landing or sampling goals: 43 from Russia, 45 from the USA, 2 from Japan, 2 from China, and 1 each from Europe and India. Mission success rate is about 58%. Sixteen more missions are planned.

Today's average laptop contains 12 times more computing power than was used to land two men on the Moon in 1969.

The Greek word mēnē branched into the Latin mensis, Germanic mōna and Middle English mone -- eventually becoming "moon" in modern English. From these roots, we also derive the related words "month" and "menstrual."

The Greek moon goddess, Selene, was called Luna by the Romans. Most things associated with the Moon are still referred to as lunar.

This root also gave rise to the words lunacy and lunatic, indicating folkloric link between moon phases and madness, perhaps because cyclical symptoms of some illnesses led to belief that the Moon influenced the sufferers. However, in Russian and Slovak language families, a "lunatic" simply refers to a sleep-walker.

Luna Selene
Researchers reviewed police stations calls, homicides, psychiatric consultations and ER visits, but found no consistent relationship with lunar changes. Nonetheless, a 1995 poll found that 43% of people still believed superstitions about how the Moon phases alter behavior.

You've heard terms like Blue Moon, Harvest Moon or Hunter's Moon – but how about Wildcat Moon? Kindly Moon? Moon of Horses? Many names given by various cultures indicate appearance of our satellite, weather during particular phases, seasonal human activities, animal behavior -- even the best time to catch fish!

Here are all the Full Moon Names for calendar year 2012.