moon phases

I’ve often been intrigued by the moon. When I was a teenager I had a (very) modest refractor telescope and would spend parts of evenings outside in the cool inviting mosquito bites as I looked at the moon, jupiter, saturn and venus. I could identify a fair proportion of the southern hemisphere night sky (well, that “fair proportion” was probably 5% of what was visible). But back to the moon: Around 250,000 miles from earth, sufficient to give light at night for at least half of the month, exactly the right relative size and distances from the earth and sun to provide eclipses, powerful enough even though inert to provide tides through gravity.