Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Electric Moon

Ice Skaters on Pigeon Lake, Bobcaygeon.
Photo credit: Fred Thornhill,Reuters, through
National Geographic, with gratitude.

We hope you all had a chance to see the Super Moon rising on the evening of the 18th... it was a superbly clear night, and a beautiful sight.  While we do understand that the moon itself doesn't change size, it's position relative to ourselves was shifted just enough that close to the horizon, it really did look BIG.
As it climbed higher in the sky, the effect lessened, but any night with a full moon and no clouds is a spectacle worth visiting.

The best shots of the full moon, if you missed it, can be found through the website of the National Geographic, who are famous for always having great photos of everything.

Jackie Godard snapped this at Lake of Bays

While standing out there enjoying the sight of that big, beautiful full moon, nobody on Earth got an electric shock -- although you may have had a bit of a thrill as it lifted over the horizon. Had we all been standing on the Moon, enjoying the sight of a bigger, beautiful blue Earth, however, the situation might have been different. Recent data from a probe deliberately crashed into the Moon is bringing back interesting information on the Moon’s  magnetic  properties, and how Earth affects them.

We all know that the moon affects our tides – in fact, if you have the right instruments, you can actually measure the tide in a cup of coffee – but as with most things, it goes both ways.

Earth's magnetic field creates a protective bubble known as the magnetosphere, which surrounds the planet and shields us from solar wind—a rush of charged particles, or plasma, constantly streaming from the sun. Without this, we’d all be in serious trouble.

As the solar wind pushes on Earth's magnetic bubble, the planet's magnetosphere stretches, forming what's called the magnetotail. This brings us phenomena like Northern Lights. But it does a lot more – it reaches beyond the orbit of the moon, and it's always pointed away from the sun. Meanwhile, we see a full moon when the lunar orb is on the opposite side of Earth from the sun—and therefore within the magnetotail.

Solar wind always ensures the electrification of the moon, regardless of whether the moon is in Earth's magnetotail. The day side of the moon becomes positively charged, as solar radiation knocks electrons from the surface. Meanwhile, electrons build up on the night side of the moon and give the surface a negative charge. But for about 6 days each month, the moon is within the Earth’s ‘magnetotail’, which blocks the solar wind, but causes a huge spike in the electrical field from the plasma sheet, which runs down the middle of the magnetotail.

So now, when you are enjoying the sight of a full moon – be it a super moon or not – as well as admiring the beauty, looking for the golf ball on the surface, and pondering the fact that this is the only extra-terrestrial body we have actually visited in person, you can also think about the fact that the Earth’s interaction with it’s nearest neighbour is, quite literally, an electrifying experience.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Never heard the word magnetotail before.