Are we lunatics?

By Phil Plait | July 8, 2009 12:00 pm

Are We Alone Sheer Lunacy

This week’s episode of the SETI radio show "Are We Alone" is up, featuring Seth Shostak and me slapping Moon Hoax believers around a bit. It also has fun bits about Full Moon Madness and other lunar, uh, lunacies. Here’s the direct link to the MP3, and if I haven’t screwed it up here is where you can subscribe to it via iTunes.

I love doing these with Seth. We always have fun. Someday we’ll have to post out outtakes…


Comments (30)

Links to this Post

  1. Interesting Stuff: Late July 2009 « The Outer Hoard | July 22, 2009
  1. I never noticed that reflection in the visor before. Must be another one of those NASA cover-ups, having pasted in a fake astronaut reflection.

  2. IBY

    Speaking of full moon, the very recent one looked very beautiful, like always. ^_^ For some reason, in the area I live in, it displayed a yellow cheese color. Maybe moons are made out of cheese!

  3. Mena

    IBY, the moon may not be but moon hoaxer literature sure is.

  4. Jeremy

    Full moons DO drive me crazy. They mean I can’t be out at the observatory gathering data. Stupid flood light in the sky…

  5. dhtroy

    Full moons have always caused problems for me … mainly because I don’t have a telescope and it really bugs me, so I have to stand there, squinting, trying to see cool stuff.

    I really need to get a telescope.

  6. That picture is obviously a fake. No alien would dare to approach with Dr. Manhattan standing guard.

  7. Nevy C

    I remember being at a star party a year ago and we were all waiting till 1 am to wait for the full moon to set so we could see the other unearthly stuff. It was a bit like me hoping for a blackout in my city…unsullied night skies!

    Yes, please do post the outtakes!

  8. Someday we’ll have to post out outtakes…


  9. Davidlpf

    The other night while driving home the full moon was shinning through some light clouds, that is only thing in the night sky I have in about a month.

  10. Jeremy

    @Nevy C

    If it was a full moon, it didn’t set at 1 AM. :)

  11. ZERO

    Not as loony as this!

  12. Johnny

    I was listening to one of those late night kook shows last night (George Nori is the host I believe). Just as I flipped it on his guest said something like “we landed on the moon, there is no conspiracy there, we did it” and I thought it was a little odd, considering the show. Then he went on to say “the conspiracy here is the coverup of all the manmade structures they found when they got there”.

    A new twist on an old favourite.

  13. Nevy C

    hmm why is that? Perhaps it was at the gibbous phase then? 😀

  14. 13. Nevy C Says: “hmm why is that?”

    Because a full moon implies that it is directly opposite the sun in the sky. This means that the full moon rises right at sunset and sets at sunrise.

    – Jack

  15. Nevy C

    @Jack: I see…all I remember was that it was very bright away from the city so I guess I assumed it was a full moon!

  16. Ben Gebhart

    Are We Alone is wonderful on many levels. It’s where I first heard of you Phil and this blog (and now it’s a daily read). Seth and Molly are great and as entertaining as they are educational. Thanks for the many memorable “Skeptical Sundays.”

  17. Davidlpf

    Seth and Phil get along so well because their humour has the same
    PUNch line.

  18. John

    I’m listening to the radio show, and I’m thinking… wow! these moon-hoax believers actually need to be told their not standing on the Moon, and that they were looking at photos with short-exposures. Omg, I wouldn’t have the patience with this idiots if they can’t understand the basics.

  19. Nevy – If it’s the only source of light around, it’s going to seem extremely bright to dark adapted eyes (or even partially adapted) even if only half the disc is illuminated.

    If the moon set around 1 AM as you mentioned, that means that it was slightly gibbous. A first quarter moon (only the right half illuminated) rises around noon and sets around midnight. The moon rises and sets approximately 1 hour later every day, so a moon setting at 1 AM would be one day past first quarter. This, of course, assumes you are on Standard Time and not Daylight Saving Time. DST pushed the clock ahead an hour, so a 1 AM setting would actually be midnight in “real” time, and therefore right on first quarter.

    I hope that isn’t TMI :-)

    – Jack

  20. themos

    I look forward to the day when I won’t have to read about these Moon Hoax people on Bad Astronomy anymore.

  21. PiperKev

    dhtroy, I think that Phil may have mentioned a pretty reasonably-priced telescope a while back… ;-D

  22. Nevy C

    @Jack – ah thanks!
    I’m hoping for a new moon at the next star party – no chance of my going loony over the precise phase.

  23. Chris A.

    @Jack and Nevy C:
    Last year’s July full Moon fell on the 18th. If Nevy C lives far enough north (e.g. northernmost Alaska), then the Moon might very well have set at 1:00 a.m.! I found that from a location about 200 km ESE of Fairbanks, AK, the full Moon would indeed have set at 1:00 a.m. on 7/18/2008.

  24. 23. Chris A. Says: “@Jack and Nevy C: Last year’s July full Moon fell on the 18th. If Nevy C lives far enough north (e.g. northernmost Alaska), then the Moon might very well have set at 1:00 a.m.! I found that from a location about 200 km ESE of Fairbanks, AK, the full Moon would indeed have set at 1:00 a.m. on 7/18/2008.”

    Interesting, but it still confirms what I said about the full moon setting at sunrise!

    Somehow I don’t think many star parties would be held near the Arctic Circle in the middle of summer!

    – Jack

  25. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    their humour has the same PUNch line.

    And well received by my PUN-y mind.

  26. MikeD

    Call me a Broadway nerd, but am I the only one who thought the music at the start of this podcast sounds suspiciously like the beginning of the song “You’ll See Boys” from RENT?

    Yeah, I thought so 😛

  27. Nevy C

    @Chris, Jack – I live in Canada and yes, where I live (Ontario – nowhere near the Arctic Circle!), we do have star parties in the summer!

    I’m off to listen to Are We Alone.

  28. Christina Viering

    It looks so real.

  29. Marion Delgado

    Phil if you are not going to teach the controversy, you can’t call yourself a “scientist.”

    Everyone knows the so-called moon landing was reincarnated in a sound studio in Arizona!!

    Stick to your geeky little telescopes and don’t try fooling us Joe the Plumbers who have to make a living in the real world.


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