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Lord of the Flies, The - Dark Side of the Moon?
At one point in the book, the sun is setting in the west, whilst in the east a pale, thin crescent moon is rising.
This is astronomically impossible -- if the moon is rising at about the time the sun is setting, it has to be on the opposite side of the Earth, which means that it can only be a full moon. (For the same reason, a lunar eclipse can only occur at full moon, and a solar eclipse only at new moon.)
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Contributed By: Eboreg Onxre on 05-14-2000 and Reviewed By: Webmaster
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Homer writes:
Umm... I think you're thinking about Lord Of The Rings...
32 of 39 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Monti writes:
the point is not that the moon can be seen in the day. The point is that, if the sun and the moon are on opposite sides of the earth (which they would have to be if the sun sets while the moon rises) then the moon would be full, but in that scene, the moon was a crescent.
11 of 15 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
korax1214 writes:
Once again, this slipup shows the tendency for people to reply to what they *believe* they've read, rather than what they've *actually* read. The comments about the moon being visible during the day, or it being possible for there to be a crescent moon *somewhere* in the sky at sunset (most likely the western sky), are totally irrelevant; this slipup is about a moon which *rises* at sunset, and it is established astronomical fact that such a moon can only be a full moon, and likewise that if a moon is full, it can only rise at or near sunset. (Similarly, a new moon rises and sets with the sun; a first-quarter moon rises at around solar noon; and a last-quarter moon rises at around solar midnight.) The comment by "boredwitless" shows that he lives up to the second half of his nick; his idea of how moon phases work is ingenious, but spoiled by the minor fact of being 100% wrong. :-) For a start, anyone who knows about lunar eclipses knows that (1) they occur only at full moon, as already stated, never at new moon; and (2) due to the Earth's atmosphere, the Earth's shadow on the moon is not black but red-orange. A new moon thus *cannot possibly* be caused by the Earth's shadow, and hence neither can any of the other phases. The phases are actually caused by the changing relative positions of Earth, moon and sun as the moon goes around its 29½-day orbit. As for this novel supposedly being set in the future, the people of the future may be able to do some miraculous-seeming (to us) things, but I doubt that those things will include changing the laws of nature, especially not the laws of geometry or of astrophysics.
4 of 5 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Bunyip writes:
This guy's premise about the moon rising being on the opposite side of the earth when the sun sets, seems to go back to the time when people thought everything rotated around the Earth. Maybe this guy's home town is the center of all rotation. I saw a crescent moon in the east as the sun set last week (23rd August 2001, Australia). It is quite common. By the way I don't like your requirement for American spelling.
9 of 19 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Daine writes:
<> They're not on a field trip. There was a war, and the boys were being taken from Britain for their safety. Their parents didn't want them in Britain if there was going to be bombing. The plane then crashed on an island somewhere.
2 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
alabanzai writes:
I don't know about anyone else, but I have seen the moon out in the daytime.
12 of 28 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Bob writes:
It's called Artistic Lisence.
7 of 18 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
boredwitless writes:
A full moon occurs when the earth is NOT in-between the sun and the moon. When the moon is a crescent the earth is casting it's shadow on the moon. If you are able to see both the moon and the sun above the horizon (perfectly possible as the moons orbit around the earth is not on the same plane as the earth around the sun) then the earth cannot be obscuring the suns view of the moon. As you are viewing both objects from the surface of the planet, which to us is effectively flat, the earth cannot be obscuring the suns view of the moon as it would have to also obscure our view of the moon (sorry, bit of a brain twister). The only thing which can be said is that if the sun and the moon are at opposite sides of the horizon the moon will be, or approaching, a full moon. When the moon is on the same side of the horizon (same side of the earth) the moon will approach being a crescent. This is not because the earth is casting a shadow on the moon but because you are viewing part or all of the dark side of the moon (the side of the moon which is in night). The extreme form of this is a solar eclipse when the moon covers our view of the sun and all we can see is the dark side of the moon.
3 of 11 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Inked Elf writes:
Number 1: the moon rises and sets North-East, and South-West. This is bc of the tilt of the Earth and all of that crap. Number 2: in some areas of the world the moon and sun can be out at the same time. I was in Arizona for several months and one of the things that I noticed there was that no matter what time it was the moon was out. All day, Every day.
0 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Mindy Doll writes:
No, during WW1 the kids were sent to the country-side or America, not to Australia or whereever they were going before they crashed. Same in WW2.
1 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Anna writes:
All right, everyone. Please, pretty please, stop talking about the book happening in WWI or WWII. THIS BOOK IS FUTURISTIC! Use your context clues here, please. For example, when Ralph and Piggy first meet and are discussing how they got on the island, they say nothing about a PLANE crash, rather, they say that the CABIN of the plane crashes. Piggy says "He must have flown off after he dropped us" (referring to the captain.) Then, a few sentences later, he says, "When we was COMING DOWN I looked through one of them windows. I saw the OTHER PART of the plane." *skip a sentence* "And this is what the cabin done" (referring to the scar on the land) Now, as far as I know, there is no plane currently in existence that can drop the passenger cabin and keep right on flying. Maybe many years in the future.
5 of 21 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Mindy Doll writes:
Ok time to clear things up. 1. it doesn't happen in middle earth that's lord of the rings! 2. it does happen in a fantasy world (where else would British school boys take a field trip to the east Indies?) 3. YOU CAN SEE THE MOON IN THE DAY!!!! i'm looking at it right now and it's 8:00 a.m.
5 of 25 found this helpful. Did you? Yes

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