Tuesday, April 11, 2017

not pink

Rhonda and I chatted about the media's latest love affair with the Moon.

She was irked by the "pink Moon" articles. Many gave the impression that the Moon would appear pink in colour. Some images showed a rising/setting satellite with an obvious colour shift. Some images showed a pink background! I even found an ostentatious article on the CBC web site. All that said, a good number of the articles (if you read far enough) clarified the Moon would not appear pink. The term was referring to a pink flower that often blooms this time of year.

I relayed by consternation about "super" Moons. She agreed. Large Moons are not new. This has been happening for a long time. Before recorded history. The Moon's orbit is elliptical. Apogee and perigee. I don't like how many articles give the impression to the reader that the Moon will appear larger in the sky.

Something crystallised (at last). I shared that I was worried about people losing interest. These articles raise expectations and people that go outside and look (itself, a good thing) may become discouraged when they experience nothing unusual. They may exclaim, "the Moon's not blue!" Or, "It doesn't look pink to me." Worse: "It doesn't look bigger than usual..." It's the crying-wolf effect.

I'd much rather see pieces with managed expectations and more scientific facts. But, I guess, science is boring.

"Click bait!" I remarked. We agreed the newspapers and media outlets are trying to make more money.

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