Moon Question of the Day

What is a "Catfish Moon"?

We couldn't find specific information on a Catfish Moon. However, in colonial America, the full Moon of March was called the Fish Moon. This probably had something to do with the beginning of fish spawning season along the eastern coast of the United States. Old catfishermen believed the best time to fish was three days before a full Moon to three days after a full Moon. They also believed that the day of the new Moon (the dark of the Moon) was a good time to fish for catfish. Not that you asked, but we did discover a play entitled "Catfish Moon," written by Laddy Sartin, and an Australian blues band of the same name.

Last 7 Days

Is there a rhyme about the color of the Moon and how this color can foretell the weather?

There are several, but the one most familiar to us is "Pale Moon doth rain, red Moon doth blow, white Moon doth neither rain nor snow".

When does a new Moon rise?

The new Moon always rises at sunrise. The full Moon always rises at sunset.

Why is there a crescent Moon cutout in outhouse doors?

We don't know whether the crescent Moon was the standard cutout in every outhouse door in the country, but it's certainly the embellishment of choice for artists and illustrators. Such an opening may have been chosen because (1) it provided some ventilation and illumination and (2) it afforded a modicum of privacy for the occupant.

What is the temperature on the Moon?

Daytime temperature is about 235 degrees F. Nighttime temperatures can drop to -275 degrees F.

What is the temperature on the Moon?

Daytime temperature is about 235 degrees F. Nighttime temperatures can drop to -275 degrees F.

I'm not old enough to remember the Moon landings. I'd like to know what phase the Moon was in on July 20, 1969.

It was in the waxing phase, six days old. (The new Moon was on the 14th.)

How come longitude lines start in Greenwich, England?

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is located at the National Maritime Museum in London. The original site of the observatory was arbitrarily chosen as longitude 0 degrees in 1884. A plaque in the original structure marks the zero point from which longitude is calculated. The observatory was founded in 1675 by King Charles II to keep accurate tables of the position of the Moon for the calculation of longitude by English ships. In 1750 those tables were published as the Astronomical Observations, and after 1838 they were published annually. Meridian observations of the Sun, stars, and planets also were made at the observatory. Photographs of the Sun were taken daily, conditions permitting, and a continuous photographic record of sunspots was kept starting in 1873. Today the observatory is primarily a museum with a small planetarium.

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