4WD Touring Australia – June 2018

(Ben Green) #1
Whether we like it or not, this old chunk of cheese is
bound to our planet by the invisible anchor of gravity.
If Earth were ever to have a photo taken by some
celestial portrait photographer, the resulting image
would have that dirty rock hanging around like a
grey mole on the Earth’s beautiful face.
While the moon would denitely look unglamor-
ous from outer space, for us terrestrial humans, it’s
a beautiful glowing white muse, and nothing has
inspired as much romantic art.
Why? Because it’s the only thing that really looks
back at us when we stare at the sky each night.
We’re inseparable.
It’ll change your plans: just try making the barge
to the mainland on time, during a king tide on
Fraser Island. It’ll also change your campside sleep
patterns: the glow of the full moon messes with
your circadian rhythms, even with eyes shut and
your tent zipped up.

But what are we actually looking at, apart from
ourselves. You have to look closely and when you
do, you’ll notice the same things looking back
at you, because the moon doesn’t move, it only
shows us one side.
The important thing to note here is that the dark
parts are the plains, and the lighter parts are the
mountains. The darker parts are also referred to as
seas, and there are 23 of these.
Probably the most noticeable aspect of a full
moon is when you see what looks like a single spot,
with what looks like stretch lines coming off it –
kinda looks like the pivot point of a spinning top.
This is called Tycho, and this is actually a crater
caused by a single asteroid.


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