Moon Shadow, Moon Shadow – Tides Linked To Moon’s Bow-Wave

Posted: 10/07/2011 in all marine news

John Konrad – 

In the early 1970s, while Cat Stevens was riding the success of his song Moon Shadow, researchers proposed that the Moon’s shadow during a solar eclipse could set off waves of upper atmosphere air movement.

They hypothesized that the waves, caused by the temperature difference between sections of under the shadow and those under direct sunlight, could build up in strength as the shadow moves across the earth’s surface. 

If true, the result would be slow-moving waves breaking in front fo the shadow, similar to the way in which waves break on a ship’s bow.

Computer simulations supported the theory but it was not until the total solar eclipse of July 2009 that scientists where able to directly measure the effect.

The Institute of Space Science in Taiwan reports that: Using a dense network of ground-based GPS receivers, scientists tracked the influence of the 2009 eclipse as it passed over Taiwan and Japan.

The researchers looked for changes in the total electron content in the ionosphere and find acoustic waves similar to those observed off the bow of ships, waves with periods between 3 and 5 minutes traveling around 100 meters per second (328 feet per second) that originated from the leading edge of the shadow.

They also looked at  the trailing edge of the shadow and found waves similar in composite to stern wakes.

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