As I started to investigate and question many things programmed into me in school, one of the items that really shook my world was the idea that the moonlight may actually possess cooling properties.
I watched a quick video like this:
At first, I absolutely couldn’t accept it, or believe it. I also did not have the financial ability to purchase an infrared thermometer (although I’ve since learned they come on sale regularly where I live for about $20.00 so I will be buying one), so after first viewing this video it has been bugging me. Why? There are many implications if this is proves true:
- The moon could not be reflecting sunlight (as I was programmed to believe) because if it was, the moonlight would possess the same qualities of sunlight: warm, radiant, glowing, heating, etc.
- If it’s not reflected sunlight, does it have its own light source?
- What in the world is the moon?
- No one taught me about this or discussed it – ever – which means that I must further question the system itself.
- If something as simple as this slipped through the cracks of education, I may be fully deceived about many other things.
But the reason this one bugged me and never left me is twofold. One, I always knew that when I was in the moonlight I was always cold (it does not take much education to confirm this) and two, this is a test that is super easy to do.
So, this morning when I woke up, I grabbed my coffee (I wake up before the sun if you were wondering) and walked out. Lo and behold there was a full moon and no clouds and the moonlight was illuminating my backyard. So, I walked into the moonlight, and pretended that I was on a sunny beach lying in the sunlight and shut my eyes (I’m weird like that…). But… something weird happened.
I got cold.
I had to start rubbing my hands together so my virtual pretend beach party ended as quickly as it started. I began walking back to the garage (less than 10 steps away) when I realized that I had warmed up.
So I walked back to the moonlight.
Son of so many guns… It’s true!
And I didn’t even need a thermometer to test it! The difference of 2 degrees (as per video above) is so great that you can literally *feel* it on your skin.
So I did a full test to prove it to myself – and this is the point of this post – you can do this to immediately and without spending any money.
Moon Chiller DIY Test Number 1: The Full Body Bask
What you will need:
- A pretty big tree (or something big that blocks the moon light)
- The moon and its light
Got it? Good.
What to do:
- Stand in the moon shade for 30 seconds with your hands exposed. Don’t hold a coffee like I did the first time or you’ll have to repeat this experiment. Count to 30 using the ‘one-thousand-and-one, one-thousand-and-two’ method.
- Quickly move into the full moonlight and repeat counting to 30 and note the temperature on your skin (perhaps wearing a bathing suit will be a more effective test – but don’t lead bystanders into temptation of course)
- Move back into the moon shade and count again to 30. I found this last step had the most impact because it was a full cycle and your senses are more in tune with the small changes.
Moon Chiller DIY Test Number 2: The Back Hand
This test is exactly the same as the test above but requires less energy. Just repeat the Full Body Bask but use the back of your hand facing the moonlight.
Keep your eyes closed for all these tests as much as possible and for the Back Hand test you might need a partner to confirm that your hand is in the moonlight.
I hope you found this as exciting and troubling as I did.
5 thoughts on “The Cooling Power of Moonlight Confirmed with Quick and Free DIY Test”
Try the same exercise when there is no moon, but a clear night – I think you will find the same results, ie: it’s not the moonlight itself that makes it colder, just the fact that standing out in a clear night sky is colder than standing under a tree. The tree is offering some shelter, and will have absorbed some heat from the ground that will be dissipated.
that… is an interesting idea. And a great point. Ideally I should conduct the experiment in the full open and not behind the tree. Middle of a lake… middle of a field… something like that. Thanks for that good point.
Right on, Bunker. As those with gardens well appreciate, although the instantaneous *rate* of loss of heat to a clear sky does not depend on the vegetation and the moisture content of the underlying ground, the *temperature decline* of the surface DOES depend on these variables. Therefore, to protect a garden against an overnight radiative-cooling frost, simply wet it well before nighttime. The moisture provides a considerable passive thermal energy reservoir, which can keep radiating IR “heat” to keep the foliage above from freezing.
In the event of a short-term overnight *freeze* (air temperature well above the ground < 0C), continuous sprinklers may be used. Here, the latent energy of fusion of water (energy released when water freezes) is used to prevent freezing of foliage, albeit with generation of an ice coating. The ice melts off the next morning, with no residual frost damage to the foliage. Note: this doesn't protect ultratropical plants, which may drop their leaves at < 5C!
Both condensation (dew) and deposition (frost on leaves) processes act to moderate temperature drop of vegetation overnight to clear skies.
I believe both the sun and the moon to be made of what is called plasma,both created under very precise physical conditions as well as what we would call phenomenon,one cold,one hot….both constrained by such precise conditions and characteristics that only the very simple would dare utter that their very existence could in any way be by chance,but by design. Divine creation and design, provoking awe and wonder, giving just enough of its secrets while keeping feeble man from its true self.
Very cool. Plasma! I will dig in…