National Geographic : 2007 Oct
WHATYOU'RE REALLY POURING INTO YOU TCr A TAYA LETTERS Geography: Senior Highs One conclusion: Older people are remaining in urban, ethnic areas while their children and children's children are migrating to the sur rounding rural areas we now know as the suburbs. BILL SHERLOCK Boyne City, Michigan Photo Journal: Bradford Washburn I often wonder what possesses people to write to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC just to make a complaint or comment on what appears to me to be a minor mistake. I am still no closer to under standing the compulsion, but here I am writing in. My question is in regard to the photo on page 12 with the cap tion ". . . moonrise over the Grandes Jorasses." Since the lit side of the moon indicates the sun is somewhere off to the right side of the photograph, and the track of the moon across the sky would be similar to that of the sun-either preceding or following the sun-wouldn't it be correct to assume that the moon is more or less moving parallel to the horizon, and so should not be labeled as a moonrise? DAVID ELSON Brush Prairie, Washington The original caption information accompanying Bradford Washburn's photograph describes the scene as a moonrise. Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory notes, "Your reader scores technical points. Semantically, I'd still say this qualifies as a moon rise. It's hard to see the moon's phase, but it appears to be a waxing gibbous, probably taken in the late spring, when it would be rising in the south east. It can be considered as 'rising' until it transits the meridian-the imaginary line passing from north to south through the zenith. While it may appear to be moving parallel to the horizon, its altitude will continue to increase until transit. Then it begins to decrease."