Saturday, March 19, 2011

A waxing gibbous moon

Image from

A few days I asked my daughter to set up igoogle on my desktop.

"What do you want on it?" she asked, and I looked at her, momentarily confused.

The conversation went something like this.

Weather? -- yes.
Daily quotations? -- yes.
Humorous daily quotations? -- Yes!!!
Calendar? -- yes.
Moon phases? -- Sure, why not?

The first thing I noticed when I opened the new page was the waxing gibbous moon. Don't think I'd seen the word gibbous since I read it in The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje.

Back then, I didn't know what it meant. Didn't look it up, either. My mind was too busy responding to the marvelous pictures created by this poet-turned-novelist.

Now I've learned that a waxing gibbous moon occurs between the first quarter and the full moon, when the sun illuminates more than half the moon's surface.

During the course of this research I also found out that from the southern hemisphere, the opposite side of the moon is visible. Along with seeing the Southern Cross, this is further justification for my desire to travel to South America and Australia.

Bathtub water is said to swirl down the drain the opposite way south of the equator. I'd like to see that too.


  1. "Gibbous. Gibbous. Gibbous." Rather a fun word to repeat.

    Looking at the water swirling down the drain was one of the first orders of business ... almost! ;)

  2. Er, about the bathtub drain. That may be a bit of a myth. Technically true, but not normally noticeable, according to some sources...