The Earth’s shadow

So I was sitting outside at 9:20 pm one night. Just sitting there enjoying the cool breeze and at the same time enduring the vast number of mosquitoes that came to confirm if a human in his right mind was indeed sitting outdoors at that time.

As I slapped myself from face to feet I started unconsciously, as always, looking up at the sky. The crescent moon was shining down beautifully. And as I glared at it and at the shadow cast on it I came to a conclusion that isn’t altogether reasonable.

If the earth is as big as we think it is compared to the moon, and if it is that far away from it…

Both heavenly bodies can be represented by a tennis ball and a football (soccer ball). Position these balls accordingly then shine a spotlight about  the size of a headlight making the football’s shadow fall on the tennis ball at an angle. I bet you wouldn’t get a crescent-shaped shadow. Not that perfectly. Take into account Umbra and Penumbra too (The shades at the edge of the shadow).

Then, naturally, I think, the shadow of the earth cast on the moon should not be so curved as to give a crescent moon. The distance and intensity of the light source matters as well. The shadow should be much straighter because the farther an object is, the bigger its shadow should appear to be — making a curve less visible — and the bigger an object the lesser the shadow will be discernable unless viewed from af… oh, I think I just solved my own confusion.


Yup, I’m confused. I did say that it isn’t altogether reasonable.


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