Monday, July 06, 2009

Lazy Cartoonists?

From the July 2009 Science News magazine letters page (click to supersize):

A big hat tip to Dad for this! Thanks, Dad.


Benita said...

I didn't think anybody else ever got that magazine. Good for your dad!

Nelson said...

I imagine the cover was drawn in the 1940s or 50s, so maybe that's an excuse for not knowing as much about astronomy as we should today.
I'm no astronomer, and had never thought about the morning moon vs the evening moon. I've probably drawn dozens of backwards moons, too.
I do wonder, though, if the "rule" would apply if the junior space observers were in the southern hemisphere.

More odd than the morning-evening angle is the way the artist drew at least one star between the Moon and the Earth, in the area of the Moon that would be in shadow!
A common cartoonist's mistake.

But cartoonists aren't the only ones who aren't so observant. In the movie, Apollo 11, there's a shot showing the Earth and the Sun together ("as seen by the astronauts"), and the Earth is exactly half in sunlight and half in shadow. For that to happen, the Sun and Earth would have to be the same distance from the astronauts (and only a few hundred thousand miles from each other); things on Earth would have been kinda warm...

Unknown said...

Wow. He's right. I've been doing it wrong all this time. I will promise, then, to always pay attention to proper astronomy when drawing the night sky. Just for you.

Gregory Kogan said...

I've probably been drawing it wrong as well.

At some point, I noticed that I've been drawing shirt buttons on the wrong side (men's shirts have the buttons on the right before buttoning).

It's easy to miss small things like this.