The Dark Side of the Moon: Paradox of Light and Dark at the Lunar Surface

Author:  Anastasiya Maryukova Pankin

Iwas walking home late one night, and as I looked up at the sky I felt surrounded by moonlight. The stark beauty of the glowing light took me by surprise and left me in awe. I don’t think much about the moon unless it is in the fall and spring when the moon is rumored to be a cause of madness. For thousands of years, the moon has been associated with mania. Certain folktales claimed that the full moon changes human behavior — causing insomnia, increased anxiety and aggression. According to this superstition, people can become highly disturbed and restless during this lunar phase. In fact, the term ‘lunacy’ comes from the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna, who rode her chariot across the sky at night. As I gazed up at the sky in Toronto, surrounded by the moonlight, I knew that somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, other moon enthusiasts were witnessing a full lunar eclipse. I experienced a momentous discovery: I wanted to know more about the moon. I wanted to learn what made it so compelling and unique.