Journey to Antarctica: Leaving the Southern Continent

Quarter Moon over Antarctica: The lunar phases are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. A faint impression of the left side of the moon is visible at the top of this image (also shown in the smaller image below) as the sun sets in the west. The current lunar phase in North Carolina is 1st Quarter and the right side of the lunar surface is illuminated with the sun setting in the west. (PHOTO CREDIT: Miriam Sutton)


I had heard rumors that the sun and moon alignment were reversed in the Antarctica but I could never really wrap my head around the meaning of the reference. Our final night in view of Antarctica provided clarity and confirmed the rumors to be true. This was the first

Lunar phases are backwards (This is the 1st Quarter phase in Antarctica.)

and only night the moon had been visible from the ship and I ventured onto the back deck with my camera to capture the evidence I would need to prove this “reversal” to my students. With the sun trying to set to my left, I peered at the 1st quarter moon as it hung above the final margin of the Antarctic Peninsula. I zoomed my lens in for a closer look, as the left side of the lunar surface was set aglow by the setting sun. The reversal was confirmed! The solar-lunar arrangement in Antarctica is reversed from the 1st quarter lunar phase in the northern hemisphere. where the right side of the lunar surface is aglow and facing the setting sun to the right. How cool is that? I wanted the captain to stop the ship and just let me sit there gazing at the moon for the remainder of the night. But, the Drake Passage was ahead of us and we continued steaming northward, leaving the lunar reflections over an icy landscape off our stern.


Today’s Daily Program Quote:
“Death lies before us as we sail for the Fountain of Youth.”
— Captain Jack Sparrow

Today’s Sunlight Data:
Sunrise: 0305
Sunset: 2236

The journey continues here: “Rounding Cape Horn & Entering Beagle Channel”