Lights in the Firmament
Our Montana winter has been pretty mild the past couple weeks, with relatively warm temperatures and clear skies. The nice weather and a mostly full moon made for a rare winter photo op on Saturday night. In order to keep track of the seasons, the Algonquin Indians assigned names to each month’s full moon, calling January’s event the Wolf Moon; because hungry wolf packs howled at night in the middle of winter. Although it is present most nights, we rarely really consider the importance of this grand satellite. People and animals obviously benefit at times from the light reflected by the moon and back to the earth’s surface. More importantly, because of gravitational forces, the moon actually helps stabilize Earth’s rotation. And, of course, the moon plays a key role in the tidal activity of our oceans, thus stimulating sea life in the intertidal zone (between low and high tides), impacting water navigation, and even offering a source for energy generation.
According to the Bible, the fourth day of creation was when the moon, sun and the stars were molded and placed by God’s hand. And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth;” and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. Genesis 1:14-19
Upon applying a little processing to this image, I became curious about some of the structures visible across the moon’s surface. So, the second image includes names of several of the features of the moon. Many of these are visible to the naked eye, so if you keep a few of these names in mind, you might be able to impress your friends with a little moon-trivia someday! (If you click on the image, you will get a larger view and the labels will be more legible.)
- caj: January full “wolf” moon splendor (PHOTOS) (washingtonpost.com)
- Creation – Part IV (kirtemery.wordpress.com)
- The History of Creation: Genesis 1:1-31 (New King James Version) (egrejeen.wordpress.com)