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Offline Bobby Shafto

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #60 on: June 29, 2018, 01:50:23 PM »
It's called perspective. A dime can obscure an elephant in the distance when you hold the dime out in front of you. The light rays of the elephant can't wrap around the dime.

Here it is again:

"The sun and earth and the observer are in a straight line. The sun is seen to be smaller than the earth at that distance. We are located at a point directly behind the earth, at the point where the earth's shrinking shadow disappears entirely and the sun's rays meet. The shadow is now gone, yet the earth is still in front of the sun."

How do we see the sun through the earth?
A dime hiding an elephant:


A dime not hiding an elephant:

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #61 on: June 29, 2018, 02:00:03 PM »
Quote
Tom, have you reviewed my video where I attempted to explain how the full moon math really works? I sense a new video based on this shadow question.

I haven't looked at that one yet. I'll look at it in a bit.

It actually doesn’t matter what you believe. Your feelings on the matter are irrelevant. You are simply incorrect in your conception of the problem.

As I said earlier, what the observer sees does matter. It is not irrelevant. model 29 was correct in his previous assessment. At the distance of the moon the earth would seem bigger then the sun, and at the distance where the umbra meets, the sun would seem bigger than the earth. Look at the images Bobby posted above. Look at what happens to the size of the sun and the earth as you get out further than the moon:

How to Calculate the Angular Size of the Sun --

Quote
Our sun is enormous compared to the Earth, measuring 109 times the diameter of the planet. When the great distance between the sun and Earth is factored in, however, the sun appears small in the sky. This phenomenon is known as the angular diameter. Astronomers use a set formula to calculate the relative sizes of celestial objects. The size and distance of objects is directly related; while the sun is 400 times larger than the moon, it is also 400 times farther away, making each object appear to be the same size in the sky -- and making solar eclipses possible.

Multiply the distance between the sun and the observer by 2. For example, to find the angular diameter of the sun as it appears on Earth, multiply 93 million miles by 2 to get 186 million.

Divide 865,000 -- the actual diameter of the sun in miles -- by the result from the previous step. The result is 0.00465.

Calculate the arctangent of the result from the previous step. On a scientific calculator, the arctangent function may be listed as either "tan-1" or "atan." The arctangent of 0.00465 is 0.26642.

Multiply the arctangent by 2. This result, 0.533 degrees, is the angular diameter of the sun as it appears on Earth.

Angular Diameter of the Sun from the Earth

1.) 93,000,000 (dist from sun to earth) x 2 = 186,000,000
2.) 865,000 (diameter of sun) / 186,000,000 = 0.00465
3.) Arctan (0.00465) = 0.26642
4.) 0.26642 x 2 = 0.533 degrees

Simplified formula

2(Arctan (::Diameter of Sun:: / (::Dist from Sun to Earth:: x 2))) in degrees

2(Arctan (865000 / (93000000 x 2))) in degrees

Output if the above line from Wolfram Alpha = 0.533 degrees


Angular Size of the Sun from the Moon

Average distance between earth and moon = 238900 miles (Source: Google)

Distance from Moon to Sun if Moon is directly behind earth
93,000,000 + 238900 = 93,238,900

2(Arctan (865000 / (93238900 x 2))) in degrees = 0.5315 degrees

Angular Size of the Earth from the Moon

Dist from Earth to Moon = 238,900
Diameter of Earth = 7917.5

2(Arctan (7917.5 / (238900 x 2))) in degrees = 1.899 degrees

At this point, the earth is bigger than the sun.

Angular Size of Sun from the Moon, if the moon were 6x further from the Earth

93,000,000 + (6 x 238,900) = 94,433,400

2(Arctan (865000 / (94433400 x 2))) in degrees = 0.5248

Angular Size of Earth from the Moon, if the moon were 6x further from the earth

Distance from Earth to Moon (x6): 6 x 238,900 = 1,433,400
Diameter of Earth = 7917.5

2(Arctan (7917.5 / (1433400 x 2))) in degrees = 0.3165

As we can see, now the sun is bigger.

Now lets get the value for the length of the umbra:

According to http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast161/Unit2/eclipses.html

Quote
The Earth's umbra is ~1.4 Million km long:

    About 3.7x the mean Earth-Moon distance.

Angular Size of Sun from the Moon, if the moon were 3.7x further from the Earth

93,000,000 + (3.7 x 238,900) = 93,883,930

2(Arctan (865000 / (93883930 x 2))) in degrees = 0.5279

Angular Size of Earth from the Moon, if the moon were 3.7x further from the earth

Distance from Earth to Moon (x3.7): 3.7 x 238,900 =  883,930
Diameter of Earth = 7917.5

2(Arctan (7917.5 / (883930 x 2))) in degrees = 0.5132

The sun is slightly bigger at that distance, answers the problem I asked earlier, and shows that what the observer sees is relevant.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 04:07:58 PM by Tom Bishop »

Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #62 on: June 29, 2018, 04:11:03 PM »
Regarding the shadow issue. I haven't read it all (I admit it... it's a long discussion), but if you all back up a tad, you may realize that everyone now agrees. In fact, both explanations (perspective and straight-line) are perfectly good explanations of the exact same thing.

Straight-Line:
Just draw an orthographic (no perspective) side view of the problem. Draw lines from the top and bottom of the sun that are tangent to the top and bottom of the Earth (top to top, bottom to bottom). Between these lines, the Earth blocks all sunlight (Umbra). Draw any other line from any point in the Sun, and you'll see that it cannot get into that region. That region is completely shadowed.

What is the penumbra? Draw a line from the top of the Sun tangent to the bottom of the Earth. The region between this new line and the top of the umbra is where the top of the Sun is blocked. This region is partially shadowed. The closer you get to the umbra, the more of the Sun that is blocked. Do the same thing from the bottom of the Sun to the top of the Earth. You have now completed the penumbra.

If you draw this diagram to scale, you will see whether the 2 components of the shadow converge or diverge. What you'll see is that it is the relative sizes of the 2 bodies that determines that. Moving the Earth closer to or farther from the sun will not change whether the shadow converges or diverges, but it WILL change the angle of convergence.

Perspective:
In this analysis, consider yourself an observer standing on the moon, and project your line of sight back towards the Sun. (It's still easier to do this in an orthographic view, but we're trying to explain this from a perspective point of view.) Do this from a first-person view instead of our side view projection. The Sun should be a circle in the sky. The size of that circle depends on how far from the Sun you are. Now draw the Earth in front of the Sun. It's size also varies depending on the distance. From where you're looking, what part of the Sun can you see, and what part is blocked by the Earth? The fraction of the Sun still visible around the Earth tells you how shadowed your position is. If you cannot see the Sun, the Sun's light cannot hit you. If you cannot see the Sun at all, you're in the umbra. If the Sun is partially blocked, you're in the penumbra. Boom! and we did it with perspective.

The answers are 100% identical, and the reason for this stems from an understanding of what perspective is and how light works.

Light generally travels in straight lines, and it is this property that gives rise to perspective. There are exceptions to the "straight lines" rule, but we do not call these exceptions "perspective."
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 04:14:07 PM by ICanScienceThat »

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Offline Bobby Shafto

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #63 on: June 29, 2018, 04:11:35 PM »
Look at the images Bobby posted above. Look at what happens to the size of the sun and the earth as you get out further than the moon:

Yes, please. Look at the images I posted. They answer your earlier posts:

Why is the earth's shadow decreasing in size?

The light rays of the elephant can't wrap around the dime.

All the angular dimensions you've posted are based on the fact that an earth smaller than the sun casts a conical shadow. Whether or not the earth eclipses the sun depend on whether the observer is inside that cone-shaped umbra or not.

"A dime can hide an elephant," but only if lined up so that the eye is within the "shadow" of the dime.

And the angular diameter if the elephant and the dime depends on distances. Move away, and the light from the elephant "wraps around" the dime.


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Offline Bobby Shafto

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #64 on: June 29, 2018, 04:15:51 PM »
If you are making your claim without evidence then we can discard it without evidence.

Fair enough. Can we discard these claims then?

TFES Wiki

Quote
"The moon is a sphere. It has a diameter of 32 miles and is located approximately 3000 miles above the surface of the earth."

Quote
"The lunar phases vary cyclically according to the changing geometry of the Moon and Sun, which are constantly wobbling up and down and exchange altitudes as they rotate around the North Pole."

Quote
"When the moon is above the altitude of the sun the moon is fully lit and a Full Moon occurs."

Show me evidence for how a sun can illuminate a moon, both of which are above the surface plane of the earth such that a full moon ("bottom" of the moon, remember) can be seen from earth.

Model that. Show me evidence of hiw that can work.

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Offline Bobby Shafto

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #65 on: June 29, 2018, 04:55:37 PM »

Show me evidence for how a sun can illuminate a moon, both of which are above the surface plane of the earth such that a full moon ("bottom" of the moon, remember) can be seen from earth.

Model that. Show me evidence of hiw that can work.

Here's a cross-section of flat earth with sun and moon 3000 miles (or so) above the earth's surface:


Fix the diagram or move the moon to where it would be so that its "bottom" is fully illuminated by the sun resulting in a full moon visible from earth.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #66 on: June 29, 2018, 05:34:28 PM »
Bobby, that seems to be a bit off topic to the topic of the Impossibility of the Full Moon in Round Earth Theory. Can you please repost that in the Flat Earth Theory forum, or can we get a moderator split that. We can go over the Flat Earth perspective/electromagnetic accelerator explanations there, and maybe improve the Wiki article. I'm looking at ICanScienceThat's video that he made and would prefer to keep on this topic.

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Offline Bobby Shafto

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #67 on: June 29, 2018, 05:51:26 PM »
Bobby, that seems to be a bit off topic to the topic of the Impossibility of the Full Moon in Round Earth Theory. Can you please repost that in the Flat Earth Theory forum, or can we get a moderator split that. We can go over the Flat Earth perspective/electromagnetic accelerator explanations there, and maybe improve the Wiki article. I'm looking at ICanScienceThat's video that he made and would prefer to keep on this topic.
Fine. I'll repost in a new topic, but it's in response to statements you've made in this one and I would like to be able to cross-reference your statements made on this topic with those you make on that one, and vice versa, for consistency.

I detect errors in analysis of round earth full moon understanding while ignoring gross disparities in the full moon explanation in a flat earth model, and I consider the matters linked.

A similar consideration is with regard to what you consider as "evidence" and what you discount or reject on the basis of lack of evidence. So, keep this topic in mind when (if) you respond to that one.

Thanks.

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Offline Bobby Shafto

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #68 on: June 29, 2018, 09:45:07 PM »
While I wait for you to answer the flat earth full moon challenge on the other topic, here's something to defend the spherical earth full moon question.

This is a not-to-scale diagram of the earth eclipsing the sun from the vantage point of the moon. This is the "dime hiding an elephant" metaphor you are fond of citing. Due to the sizes of the earth and sun, and the distance of the moon from the earth, the angular diameters of the sun and the earth are nearly identical (some of the time) and so when the moon is inside that conical shadow area (the umbra), the earth/dime will cover the sun/elephant. That's a lunar eclipse. (I couldn't find an image of the earth from the night side with a transparent background, and rather than spend time making it myself I just used an day-side illuminated earth image. It's an illustration anyway, so roll with it.)



But the moon's orbit is inclined and doesn't always pass into the earth's sun shadow when it is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun. When it passes into the penumbra, it's partially shaded from the sun, but the sun is still "peaking" around the edge of the earth:



That's a partial lunar eclipse, and the "dime" is not hiding the "elephant."

Then there's the more common occurrence: the non-eclipsed "full" moon:



The side of the moon facing earth is still fully illuminated by the sun, but the moon is not inside of earth's umbra or penumbra. The alignment is off for an eclipse and from the moon, the earth is out of the way from a direct view to the sun. So the dime isn't hiding the elephant in the majority of sun/earth/moon alignments.
 

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #69 on: June 30, 2018, 12:19:53 AM »
Bobby, look at the video ICanScienceThat made for us. Even with that scenario, a 100% full moon is still not possible:

For Tom (and everyone else). The mathematical investigation of just how much of the moon is illuminated under the standard RE model.
https://youtu.be/GNSFMLkY14E

ICanScienceThat seems to be suggesting that the İntikam was technically right in the wiki article that a monthly 100% full moon is  for the most part does not happen and that astronomy is wrong/astronomers are wrong when they write their astronomy books. The moon will be either offset from center or blocked by the shadow of the earth, preventing a 100% full moon. That seems like a good answer to me. I don't have an issue with that explanation.

In the Wiki article İntikam does say that the full moon is possible for a short period of time when the moon is rising, which seems to suggest that Inkitam does admit that it is a possible, but a rare occurrence. But since the moon can't get directly behind the earth, I would question the idea of a rare full moon that is going around.

I appreciate all of the effort it took to make that video. Very good work.

I tend to see this particular subject as somewhat fruitless, especially as there do not seem to be many high resolution images of the moon at the exact point in time when it is the fullest.

While Inkitam appears to be correct, and I approve of his investigations, I can't see that it takes us anywhere further except to say that astronomy texts are wrong where they say or imply that the full moon goes to 100% every month in the Round Earth model. Unfortunately Inkitam is not here to give us any further clarification on where he was meaning to take the idea.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 07:56:16 AM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Bobby Shafto

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #70 on: June 30, 2018, 12:35:27 AM »
I'm okay with that answer too. But then I'm okay with considering 99.99-whatever % full as being 100% full. I'm not Mr. Spock and won't get bent out of shape if the threshold for "full" is 99-99.9+% full, with a limit of 100% not being technically possible.

I'm only responding to things you said like "why does the shadow narrow?" or "a dime can hide an elephant" as if distance and alignment have no bearing.

Good job proving a perfect 100% full moon viewed from earth isn't possible. So what? It's a picayune point that, in the arguing, you elevated to critical undermining of RE model thru misrepresentation of perspective concepts and geometry.

Now, there's a counter-challenge to FE full moon waiting for your response.

Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #71 on: June 30, 2018, 07:02:53 AM »
Bobby, look at the video ICanScienceThat made for us. Even with that scenario, a 100% full moon is still not possible:

For Tom (and everyone else). The mathematical investigation of just how much of the moon is illuminated under the standard RE model.
https://youtu.be/GNSFMLkY14E

ICanScienceThat seems to be suggesting that the İntikam was technically right in the wiki article that a monthly 100% full moon is  for the most part does not happen and that astronomy is wrong/astronomers are wrong when they write their astronomy books. The moon will be either offset from center or blocked by the shadow of the earth, preventing a 100% full moon. That seems like a good answer to me. I don't have an issue with that explanation.

In the Wiki article İntikam does say that the full moon is possible for a short period of time when the moon is rising, which seems to suggest that Inkitam does admit that it is a possible, but a rare occurrence. But since the moon can't get directly behind the earth, I would question the idea of a rare full moon that is going around.

I appreciate all of the effort it took to make that video. Very good work.

I tend to see this particular subject as somewhat fruitless, especially as there do not seem to be many high resolution images of the moon at the exact point in tine when it is the fullest.

While Inkitam appears to be correct, and I approve of his investigations, I can't see that it takes us anywhere further except to say that astronomy texts are wrong where they say or imply that the full moon goes to 100% every month in the Round Earth model. Unfortunately Inkitam is not here to give us any further clarification on where he was meaning to take the idea.

I do not recall saying that the 100% full moon was not possible. I don't want you to misrepresent my work. I would like you to understand that the full moon is not 100.0% illuminated every night.

I would appreciate it if you'd remove that section from the Wiki because it is a misrepresentation of what astronomy texts say. They may say 100%, and my point is that 99.7% is certainly close enough to 100% that you would stop quibbling over it. 99.7% is not the MAXIMUM illumination. I clearly stated that was the MINIMUM. And I actually said it goes to 100%.

Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #72 on: June 30, 2018, 07:47:55 AM »
If you want to know what the RE model says, it can be found right here:
https://www.mooncalc.org

Let me suggest you check it for June 28th. Scrub the time and check it. It predicted 99.9%. Next check July 27th. If you scrub it, you'll see that it peaks at 100.0%, but we in California aren't going to see that. They'll see it in New Delhi though.

There are 2 points I want to make clear here.
1) Don't make inaccurate claims about what RE says. These things can be checked, so let's try to keep it accurate. Nobody here is trying to win the argument by misrepresenting the other side. (Ok some people are doing that, but that isn't what you or I are doing right?)
2) If you wish to show that the observed amount of illumination does not match the predicted amount of illumination, you'll need to measure the observed amount of illumination. Importantly, you need to note the error margin of your measurement. If the prediction lies outside of your error margin, then you have a point.

#2 there is one of the biggest issues that I want to stress. In order to make a useful determination, you need to make sure that the precision of your measurement makes the results clear. In my video with a 4k image, I was able to show that image was 99.6% with an error margin of +-0.1%. Maybe you can do a little better, but if +-0.1% is the best we can do, you will never be able to determine for sure if the moon is ever perfectly illuminated. The best you'll be able to do is say it's between 99.9 and 100.0%. If you got that error margin down to +-0.001%, the best you could do would be to say the moon was 99.999 - 100.000% illuminated.

We need to agree on what "perfectly illuminated" means, and then we can say whether we've hit that mark. I'll personally place that margin at +-0.1%. If you want to go to +-0.05%, I'll make that leap with you. I can demonstrate with math that the model clearly hits that mark, and mooncalc agrees with that.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 07:51:06 AM by ICanScienceThat »

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #73 on: June 30, 2018, 08:15:41 AM »
I would appreciate it if you'd remove that section from the Wiki because it is a misrepresentation of what astronomy texts say. They may say 100%, and my point is that 99.7% is certainly close enough to 100% that you would stop quibbling over it. 99.7% is not the MAXIMUM illumination. I clearly stated that was the MINIMUM. And I actually said it goes to 100%.

One might suggest that since Inkitham's good artwork is apparently more correct than dozens of astronomy websites on the internet that were created by astonomers and educators, many which define a full moon as 100% illumination and say that a full moon happens every month, then perhaps it is Inkitham's artwork that should stay up and it is those website that should be changed.

You said that it goes to 100% on rare events, but you did not show it. You did a good job showing the 99.7, and I will give you good credit for that. Lets try to do it for the closest the moon could get to the earth's umbra.

From earlier:

Quote
Angular Size of the Sun from the Moon

Average distance between earth and moon = 238900 miles (Source: Google)

Distance from Moon to Sun if Moon is directly behind earth
93,000,000 + 238900 = 93,238,900

2(Arctan (865000 / (93238900 x 2))) in degrees = 0.5315 degrees

Angular Size of the Earth from the Moon

Dist from Earth to Moon = 238,900
Diameter of Earth = 7917.5

2(Arctan (7917.5 / (238900 x 2))) in degrees = 1.899 degrees

Assume that the moon sees 100% of the sun's body sitting right on top of the earth. To get the angular distance from the center of the sun to the center of the earth we can do the following:

0.5315 / 2 = 0.2656
1.899 / 2 = 0.9495

Distance from center of sun to center of earth = 1.2151 degrees. I estimate that this should be the closest the moon can get to the earth and be fully illuminated.

Plop that into your calculations in place of the 5.x degrees and see what you get.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 09:12:34 AM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #74 on: June 30, 2018, 08:48:38 AM »
1) Don't make inaccurate claims about what RE says.

So far İntikam has been correct. You showed it yourself.

This website by astronomers and educators at the University of Nebraska says that a Full Moon is 100% illumination, and it happens every lunar month on a Full Moon:

http://astro.unl.edu/naap/lps/lunarPage1.html

Quote
A new moon is 0% illuminated (completely dark) and a full moon is 100% illuminated (fully lit).

http://astro.unl.edu/naap/lps/lunarPage2.html

Quote
The time it takes the moon to complete one orbit around the earth (with respect to the sun) is also the amount of time it takes to complete one cycle of phases. This period, known as the synodic month, is about 29.5 days

You even agree that a 100% Full Moon doesn't happen every month (assuming that it exists). The page was written under the direction of Dr. Kevin Lee, who should know better.

Why not lobby to take this website down rather than the one that inspired you to prove them wrong?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 09:26:18 AM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline rabinoz

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #75 on: June 30, 2018, 08:50:16 AM »
1) Don't make inaccurate claims about what RE says.

So far İntikam has been correct. You showed it yourself.

This website by astronomers at the University of Nebraska says that a full moon is 100% illumination, and it happens every month on a Full Moon: http://astro.unl.edu/naap/lps/lunarPage1.html

Why not lobby to take this website down instead?
Why?
The observed illumination of the full moon can be from 99.7% (which rounds to 100%) to 100%.
If I specify that the temperature, T, as 22C, I do not mean that the temperature is exactly 22.0000C, but that 21.5C < T < 22.5C.
Likewise, why would anyone expect 100% illumination to be exactly 100.0000% and not simply greater than 99.5%.
The topic question is "Full moon impossible?" and while all full moons on the globe may not be 100.0% but some can be that close.

Now go and fix up your flat earth model because the lunar geometry in the Wiki means that many people  (even those directly under the moon) could not even see 50% illumination.

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Offline Tumeni

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #76 on: June 30, 2018, 11:06:22 AM »
1) Don't make inaccurate claims about what RE says.

So far İntikam has been correct. You showed it yourself.

This website by astronomers and educators at the University of Nebraska says that a Full Moon is 100% illumination, and it happens every lunar month on a Full Moon:

http://astro.unl.edu/naap/lps/lunarPage1.html

Quote
A new moon is 0% illuminated (completely dark) and a full moon is 100% illuminated (fully lit).

http://astro.unl.edu/naap/lps/lunarPage2.html

Quote
The time it takes the moon to complete one orbit around the earth (with respect to the sun) is also the amount of time it takes to complete one cycle of phases. This period, known as the synodic month, is about 29.5 days

You even agree that a 100% Full Moon doesn't happen every month (assuming that it exists). The page was written under the direction of Dr. Kevin Lee, who should know better.

Why not lobby to take this website down rather than the one that inspired you to prove them wrong?

Once again

You really don't think that they're approximating for the purposes of basic, starting-point educational material (as opposed to advanced astronomical studies)?

I think that's what they're doing, so see no reason to dispute or correct them. You're quoting introductory material as if it's the be-all and end-all of research. It's not. If you want to quote be-all and end-all, find some genuine textbooks, journals and papers.
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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #77 on: June 30, 2018, 11:09:05 AM »
The sun is slightly bigger at that distance, answers the problem I asked earlier, and shows that what the observer sees is relevant.

Yes, if the observer is farther away than the point of the cone, he sees the Earth in silhouette, with a ring of Sun around it. If he is closer than the point of the cone, he sees only the shadow side of the Earth.

What does this prove? What's your point?
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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #78 on: June 30, 2018, 11:14:40 AM »
Bobby, look at the video ICanScienceThat made for us. Even with that scenario, a 100% full moon is still not possible:

Even if that is the case, so what?


I can't see that it takes us anywhere further except to say that astronomy texts are wrong where they say or imply that the full moon goes to 100% every month in the Round Earth model.

Are you saying that ALL astronomy texts are wrong? Have you read any advanced ones, or are you just quoting those entry-level ones that you mentioned above?
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Pete Svarrior "We are not here to directly persuade anyone ... You mistake our lack of interest in you for our absence."

Tom Bishop "We are extremely popular and the entire world wants to talk to us. We have better things to do with our lives than have in depth discussions with every single curious person. You are lucky to get one sentence dismissals from us"

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Offline Bobby Shafto

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Re: Full moon impossible?
« Reply #79 on: June 30, 2018, 12:47:06 PM »
I do not recall saying that the 100% full moon was not possible.
I'll say it. I did say it. Tom's right. 100% full moon is not possible. "100%" is rounded up from 99.9+% and isn't really worth arguing about, IMO. What's the significance of whether or not 100% illumination of the moon, as seen from earth, is possible? Tom's right, but it's a nitpick of the highest order. Why debate it? 

Earth isn't a perfect sphere either, but we can call it a sphere. If someone objects that it's actually an oblate spheroid, I'm not going to argue that it's not. I'll just groan and move on rather than be distracted by the pedant.

Edit:
A Space.com 2010 article on this
2004 Joe Rao article (cached)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 07:20:09 PM by Bobby Shafto »