The second brightest object in the sky, Earth’s only natural satellite, and
the only place in which humans have landed and explored; it is clear why the Moon has
been the subject of our fascination since the beginning of time. There have been many
discoveries since our first exploration. But one question remains in the heads of many
people… Does the moon effect our moods? To fully analyze this theory of the Moon and our mood, we must first understand
the phases that the moon goes through. The Moon is a sphere, and is always half lit by
the sun, we only see a portion of it because the Moon is in constant orbit of the earth.
This period of orbiting is a Lunar month, which lasts for 29 1/2 days. There are eight
phases that occur. These phases are known as a New Moon, Crescent Moon, First
Quarter, Gibbous, Full Moon, Gibbous, Last Quarter, and Crescent. These phases are
caused by the Moon and Sun’s positioning in the Sky.
A Full Moon, when the moons illuminated side is facing the Earth. At this time,
the Moon appears as 100% lit circular area, being illuminated by direct sunlight. The Sun
and Moon are in direct opposite sides of the Earth.
Generally there is only one full moon a month on a specific date, but rarely there
are two full moons in one month. It Is even possible to have a month
without a full moon, but this does not happen very often and it can happen only in the
month of February.
The “Lunar Effect” is the proper name for the theory associated with the moon’s
phases and humans behavior. It is also sometimes called Transylvanian hypothesis
and Transylvanian effect. It has often been believed that the phases of a moon have
effects on psychological disorders, pregnancies, medical conditions, and violent crimes.
The majority of studies and experiments that have been conducted by
astronomers, behavior analysts, and psychologists show the theory to be untrue. A fifteen
month study in Jacksonville, Florida also revealed at least no lunar effect on crime and
hospital room admittance.
While there have been few studies that support the relationship of behavior and
the phases of the moon, these studies were based on small groups of research, and were
not consistent enough. A psychologist by the name of Arnold Leiber reported a
correlation of homicides in Miami to moon phases, but later analysis of the data did not
support Lieber's conclusions. When more appropriate tests were done, no correlation
between homicides and the phase of the moon was found.
The Lunar effect recently been also associated with positive and negative ions in
the air. The theory that there are more positive ions when the moon is full. It has been
concluded that there are many sources of positive ions other than the moon, such as air
pollution. So where did this whole theory come from? Nobody is exactly sure. There have
been many tales about the moon. It has been believed that seeing a new moon would
bring luck and prosperity, and many different regions of the world people still hold rituals Smith 3
on new and full moons. The most common tale is still the Lunar Effect, this is where we
have gotten the words “Lunatic” and “lunar” which people often use to describe people
who are behaving crazy. We also…