Goodnight moon, goodnight room. Goodnight frogger, goodnight super-analytical blogger.
Chad Orzel of the physics blog Uncertain Principles has had plenty of time to contemplate the beloved children’s book Goodnight Moon in the course of bedtime readings with his toddler. And he got to wondering, just how long does it take the book’s bunny protagonist to say goodnight to all the objects in the room? And could a physics blogger figure it out from eyeballing the moon’s rise through the sky during the course of the story?
Happily, yes. Go read the full post for the math of the moon’s passage through the sky; we’ll skip to the results and tell you that Orzel puts the figure at about 6 minutes. But there’s a hitch: The clocks shown in various pictures of the bunny’s room instead show that one hour and 10 minutes have elapsed. There are only two possible explanations, Orzel says:
These two methods clearly do not agree with one another, which means one of two things: either I’m terribly over-analyzing the content of the illustrations of a beloved children’s book, or the bunny’s bedroom is moving at extremely high velocity relative to the earth, so that relativistic time dilation makes the six-minute rise of the moon appear to take an hour and ten minutes.
The Loom: Goodnight Moon Shot [Tattoo]
Bad Astronomy: The Moon Is Shrinking!
80beats: Study: There’s Water on the Lunar Surface, but Inside It’s Bone Dry
80beats: Solar Sleuthing Suggests When Odysseus Got Home: April 16, 1178 B.C.
Discoblog: Astronomers Identify the Mystery Meteor That Inspired Walt Whitman