Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine VOL 40 No 2 SPRING 2016 - Page 5
n 1969, something was left on the moon by astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil
Armstrong that continues to work to this day, and it allows scientists to know
a great deal about the moon. What was left behind was a specially shaped
mirror (and not the only one there now). Why would a mirror be left on the moon,
you might wonder? Well for at least one specific example, it is very useful to
measure the time it takes for a laser beam from earth to strike the mirror and
This little experiment has allowed scientists to determine quite accurately that
the moon is slipping away from earth’s grasp, albeit at a small rate that is currently
at 3.7cm per year. Not much difference since 1969, but give it enough time, (as in
billions of years) the difference will be quite sizeable.
Today, the sun and moon appear to be about the same size due to their distance
from the earth. The Sun’s diameter is 400x greater than the moon but the moon is
about 400x closer, so it appears to be about the same size as the sun. Its impact on
earth’s tides however, is much greater than the sun due to its much closer proximity.
Just something to think about the next time the “supermoon” phenomena is hyped.
The ones this year might just be a little less super than last year’s by 3.7cm…
Spring on the Gulf Coast often involves days of strong southerly winds as
well as the possibility of brisk northers blowing through until early May. In the
1800s, one such May norther blew through Indianola on the Texas Gulf coast and
brought below freezing weather. It stranded a group of dewberry pickers across
the bay from the town who had to ride it out in summer type clothing.
Quite notably when they saw the dark sky building to the north, they didn’t
try to make a run for it, otherwise they wouldn’t likely have lived to tell the tale of
surviving that “blue norther.” Odd for Texas that time of year, but one must be
prepared for just about any type of weather during Spring on the Gulf Coast.
To Order the 2016 Gulf Coast Fisherman
Advance Planning Calendar
The best soft plastic
croaker swimbaits just
added some deadly new
colors that trout,
redfish & flounder
see page 35 or visit our website. www.gulffishing.com
Get your “Suicide
APRIL • MAY • JUNE 2 0 1 6