Our moon is still as mysterious and magical as when our ancestors accorded it god-like powers. Second, only to the sun in its influence on Mother Earth, it causes the oceans to move, affects the growth of all life and most definitely stirs the imagination. Yet we still know very little about it. Obviously, I do not think humans have made contact either by man or machine. If they do not have the distance right they can hardly have visited. If the sun’s distance is so vastly wrong, then the moon cannot be the stated 237000miles( 381333km.) distance calculated for the space flights. Using empirical data,
I propose the distance is no greater than7609miles. The moon;
1) eclipses the sun, so also appears to be 0.5 degrees
2) orbits our planet, the evidence being the phases and locations of the moon over repeated cycles.
3) travels in the same direction as Earth ( west to east).
4) the rising and setting vary cyclically from as little as 9 hours to over 14 hours.
From this, we can calculate it’s distance and size.
Since the apparent size does not alter greatly, we must assume it does not change distance significantly on each orbit. Whereas the average speed is calculated by dividing 360 degrees by 27.32 days it takes to complete one sidereal (based on the stars) orbit, giving just over 13 degrees per day, this is merely a mean rate. If it rises and sets in 9 hours on some days, but can be visible for over 14 hours on other days, then the speed is not uniform. We know from observation of star-rises that the Earth does have a uniform speed, so this does not contribute to the difference.
With the help of triangulation and basic trigonometry, the distance for 9 hours visibility can be found. For a point to be visible simultaneously 180 degrees apart on a sphere, it must be at a distance not less than 3 times the diameter of the sphere. Allowing for the width of that object it’s real distance can be calculated from the point of first/ last sight seen from the two locations. The Earth’s diameter is 7926 miles ( 12752.9km.) so any point closer than 23778miles(38258.8 km.) will not be seen simultaneously from 2 locations on Earth 180 degrees apart ( north and south Pole or Western Samoa and Valencia, Spain). The sun is so far that at all times 50% of the planet is in sunlight.
Because Earth travels at a constant speed, we can use the hours an object is visible to estimate the distance. See my diagrams for “the moon”. My calculations produced a distance of 7608.9 miles( 12242.8km.). This may need adjustment based on one intriguing piece of evidence. The moon’s umbra( shadow cone) during a solar eclipse can be as little as 30.45 miles (49km.) across. This shadow is called the path width. That would have to be the real size of the moon, which appears to be 0.5 degrees. Then the distance would be 3685miles( 5929km)! Shadows are directly related to the size of the object casting them. you can see many examples at the websites listed or better still, do your own experiment.
A shadow can never be smaller than the object blocking a single source of light. Here’s where “critical thinking” is applied. We can see the moon eclipses the sun. We are told this is because the sun is much farther. Yet, in the diagrams illustrating eclipses in any modern representation, the sun is always shown much larger than the moon to produce the effect of a narrowing cone of shadow ( see the diagram “moon shadow”). Interestingly, it does not apply to airplanes, mountains or buildings. One Physicist explained the discrepancy with the “fact that these were local, whereas the moon was a lot closer to the sun”. But, thanks to modern technology, we can conduct an experiment that would prove irrefutably the distance to the moon.
Using the internet, arrange for two locations 180 degrees apart in the same Latitude to view the moon from rising to setting for both locations. Also, have observers at 135 degrees apart on the same Latitude do the same. With the help of an ephemeris, you can pick the days for shortest and longest visibility. Upload your data in real time, preferably with cameras, so the whole world can see your experiment. This will determine the distance. Remember, you do not have to be a scientist or Astronomer to search for the Truth.
4. This video perfectly demonstrates the triangulation in reference to the diagram below. >>> C13–Construct two tangents