Friday, October 02, 2015

Moonshine and Lunacy

I got an email from a reader yesterday asking for help in understanding a video that she’d seen, in which a citizen-scientist performs an experiment with a very surprising result: moonlight makes things colder! How could this be? To find out, I took a dive into the well-intentioned but deeply problematic world of Youtube science.

The first thing that I discovered on this journey was that this experiment is a popular one, particularly among “Flat Earth” theorists. (I wish I were kidding about that, but the idea of a flat earth seems to have experienced a resurgence in popularity this year.) A quick search for “Moonlight cold” turned up multiple videos on Youtube, most of which show some variation of the following experiment being performed:

An object is placed outside under a full moon, partly in the shade and partly in direct moonlight. The experimenter gives the thing some time to reach equilibrium, then takes a temperature measurement with an infrared “laser” thermometer, which reveals the moonlit side to be lower in temperature, sometimes by as much as a few degrees!

Obviously, something’s afoot here, but it’s not so simple as a hoax—nearly everyone making these videos is very much convinced that they’re seeing a real effect. So how does this phenomenon arise? While you probably don’t need convincing that it’s not “heat-sucking moon beams” at work, it’s absolutely worth exploring how these earnest attempts at science can go so wrong.

A handful of these videos are shot in near-complete darkness, as even a full moon can’t provide enough light for the average cell phone camera, so practically the only discernable features in the footage are the thermometer’s laser aiming dot and backlit temperature display. Still, I admire the creators of these videos for their effort to reduce the noise in their data and provide a cleaner signal; noise is one of the biggest sources of error in any experimental setup. However, these home experiments fall victim to a far more significant source of error: poor instrumentation.

There are two factors common to virtually all these videos: a point-and-shoot infrared thermometer, and a yokel behind the camera who has no idea how the device he’s holding works. See, while it’s tempting to assume that your “laser thermometer” is telling you the temperature at the illuminated spot, that’s only half the story—the laser actually doesn’t do anything besides help you aim! The actual measurement apparatus uses a lens to focus infrared radiation from your target onto a digital sensor. What this means is that, rather than taking the temperature at a point, you’re taking the temperature of a circle centered at that point. How big the circle is depends on how far away you are from your target, along with the internal optics of the thermometer.

A standard IR thermometer has a D:S (distance to spot) ratio of roughly 10:1, meaning that making a measurement from ten feet away will give you the average temperature of a spot one foot in diameter. In the video below (which has twenty-something-thousand views, as of this writing), the experimenter seems to be standing at least ten feet away from his target, trying to check the temperature on either side of a wallet. Once you understand how the IR thermometer works, it’s plain to see where his anomalous result comes from: the spot he’s measuring on the moonlit side includes the ground beyond the edge of his pool deck, which is doubtless cooler than the stone that makes up the patio.

You'll want to skip to about 8:50, unless you've got time to kill.

The potential for this kind of error is why it’s important to repeat your measurements in different ways; if he had moved the wallet to the other side of his table’s shadow, he might have noticed that the temperature difference vanishes!

This brings me to my last point. The beast that aggregates these errors into a katamari of colossal wrongness (and the real reason so many people are apparently convinced that the moon emits some kind of anti-photon) is one of modern science’s greatest enemies: reporting bias.

If the guy who made that video had noticed, halfway through filming, that he wasn’t getting the results he expected, do you think we’d have seen it? Statistically, for every person who finds that moonlight makes things colder, there’s at least one who conducted the same experiment and found that it has no effect, or even the opposite, making things warmer! (Which technically it should, but it’s likely a micro-kelvin kind of difference.) The difference between the two cases is that the null hypothesis is obvious, while the alternative is literally incredible, so only the latter gets uploaded and viewed and shared. When you consider that the uploader gets paid by advertisers based on the number of views they get, you realize that this system incentivizes bad science, not just socially but financially.

Unfortunately, this problem isn’t exclusive to Youtubers howling at the moon—it permeates the real world in serious ways. If a flipped coin land on “heads” ten times in a row, it’s very reasonable to suspect that it’s a weighted coin, but it becomes a different story entirely if you find out that someone spent all afternoon flipping in order to get that ten-heads streak. In the same way, unreported repeat trials can make a statistical fluke seem like good data, which can be a huge issue if we're talking about something like the efficacy of a nutritional supplement.

As someone who loves unconventional theories, I can say from personal experience that there’s a deeply forlorn feeling you get when an idea that you thought was revolutionary turns out to be bunk; it’s like waking from a flying dream to discover that it’s Tuesday and you’re late for work. People fight that waking feeling, usually subconsciously, because our beliefs are guided by emotions rather than logic an embarrassing amount of the time, and because everyone wants to be the new Galileo. But science—GOOD science—is the struggle against that instinct to cling to the dream as it dissolves around you, because as Randall Munroe said, "You don't use science to show that you're right. You use science to become right."

The null hypothesis, that the moon just reflects light from the sun, will never "go viral". It's not profitable, or terribly exciting, and it doesn't have the symmetrical allure of its contrived alternatives. But precisely for those reasons, it's essential that it be defended, that we demand extraordinary evidence from those who make extraordinary claims, and with zeal to match theirs. It's a scientist's duty to shake awake those dreamers who've taken in a touch too much moonshine, because there's a real world out here that needs exploring, and it's full of more wonder than anyone could dream up.

67 comments:

  1. Perhaps what they are really measuring is the radiative cooling of the night sky. If the moon is occluded, it means there is a warmer terrestrial object between the object and the night sky.

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    1. Im curious if anyone has tried this experiment during a clear, moonless night by measuring the exact same object in the same spots at the same time of night. Is there still a difference? By the youtubers hypothesis, there is no moonlight so the answer would be No. If someone could show me this i may be more inclined to believe this theory.

      David, I too was always under the assumption that the shaded spot was warmer the same way the earth is warmer with a cloud cover. An object shading our test spot radiates the heat lost by the spot back towards it, warming it slightly. This is opposed to the unshaded spot that radiates its heat up through the cloudless sky which, in turn, radiates significantly less heat back.

      Delete
  2. How much energy does the moon reflect on the earth? Even a micro kelvin must it seems have an measurable effect on the temperature at night and every night since time immemorial for large energy input.

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  3. David,
    You're too clever for your own good!

    Now that you mention it, one of those videos featured a guy using a symmetrical 2 kW lamp to illuminate the experiment, along with an umbrella to occlude the moon, and that's a good geometric arrangement for that effect to emerge, especially if the underside of the umbrella reflects some of that light/heat.
    Instrumentation error still strikes me as a better explanation, but this is a great bit of let's-make-it-work thinking!

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  4. Maybe less writing could have been dedicated to chortling and more simple staying what could have been done to make them more sound. Personally, I have an IR thermometer and tonight's a full moon. I can easily just measure my side walk several times, then shade one side, and take measurements every 60 seconds of both sides. What's wrong with that? What should I do differently to spare me the intellectual ridicule?

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  5. I mean, really. Something riles people up out from the sofa and had then actually excited to conduct an experiment, and your advice is for the science community to staunchly defend the moon reflecting sunlight theory "shaking awake" these pathetic dreamers, and "demand" proof. Such ego and pride! What are you so afraid of? Oh it's such an obvious fact, why be threatened to those that challenge it? Have YOU conducted ant similar experiments, or is it just beneath you, you're so certain? Such faith! This religion of yours is so dedicate, you instruct your minions to rip them to shreds, like a good priest should.
    Nevermind all that bullshit feel good crap those like Nye, our Tyson try to harvest. No, you'll have none of that!
    When did you get so jaded and disillusional?

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    1. Actually, his response was that we should demand rigorous and controlled experimentation from people that would come up with radical alternate explanations.

      Perhaps it would have been better if he said we teach these armchair scientists how to apply the scientific method more robustly.

      You're right- that the armchair scientists went out and did this is to be commended...now all they need is a little discipline.

      I think I have come up with a more rigorous way to test the "moon is a cold ray" hypothesis. I hope to have time sometime over the next couple of months to test it...for the best results, I may have to wait until spring...I think the cold winter months may cause issues.

      Delete
    2. The Moon emits cold light this is a fact. Your heliocentric bias is getting in the way of real science. The instruments used in these experiments vary but the results are always the same the Moon emits a cold or cooling light. And if you would like to criticize them then show us how the experiment should work instead of throwing punches from the safety of tge science crowd

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  6. You are avoiding the issue here: is the light from the moon cold or warm? It seems we all know the answer so there is no reason to set up an experiment. But say we are new to this world and the matters of light and shade - what would be the best way to show the effects of the moon's light upon the earth?
    What is this about a flat earth and where does that enter into the situation?
    Use your scientific mind and give us a straight answer, please.

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  7. Dunce- you asked "How much energy does the moon reflect on the earth?"

    The answer? None. Heat is not reflected...it is transferred via either conduction, convection, and/or raditation.

    Since the moon is in space, convection and conduction are out, so the only way the moon can transfer energy to earth is via radiation.

    Radiation happens to be the absolute least efficient way to transfer energy, so the amount of radiated heat from the moon would be very small, and the teeny tiny amount of the moon's reflected light that is shining on the little patch of ground where you are standing measuring its temperature would have several magnitudes less heat than that.

    I guess theoretically there'd be a thermometer accurate enough to detect this heat input from the moon, but in actuality it would be so swamped out by other heat sources closer by you would never detect its signal with equipment we have on hand. Certainly not to measure a several degree temperature change.

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  8. TWOM you asked: is the light from the moon cold or warm?

    The real question is- is light from the moon a heat source or a heat sink relative to the unlighted earth?

    If it's the latter, especially to the degree these homegrown experiments are purporting to find, that would be an extraordinary development...would run counter to the laws of physics as we know it...and likely would have shown up in other ways already.

    The Youtubers who video this don't understand the import of what they are claiming...but once you do understand it, you realize why the first reaction is appopriately major skepticism.

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    1. No the reaction should be major research. And a following reaction as to how science never picked up on this in the last few centuries

      Delete
  9. OP is a fail. You talk a lot of smack on behalf of "science", while offering none of the sort. You write as though, anyone but you, or a "scientist" is a moron that does not understand how to conduct experiments or "science". You have no answer, then continue with babble that everyone is stupid except you and "scientists". You are the epitome of evidence that the word "science" has been commandeered by regurgitating, mindless parrots. Guess what fake scientist with ZERO understanding of this world OR the cosmos? Moonlight magnifies colder. So go flush your freemason degree and mortarboard hat down the toilet. You have been bamboozled to live your entire adult life in a lie. Lolz. Joke's on you. BTW, when the truth is exposed to the whole world about the true form and nature Earth and the heavens, don't walk around acting like 'you knew it all along'. Sucka....

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    1. This is nice, except the author in no ways said that everyone other than "scientists" or "him" are morons who don't understand science.

      What he did say is the the majority of these "moon calling" experiments that have been posted on YouTube contain rather blatantly obvious measurement error, and many of those posters did not seem to understand how infrared thermometers worked.

      That doesn't make them morons...just inexperienced at setting up a proper controlled experiment.

      Delete
    2. Ill call all these flat-earth, cold moon believers morons. Everyone knows the earth is round... and hollow.

      Delete
  10. Anyone can wag the dog. I see bias in your rhetoric alternately to your blog. Prove it. I have done this test myself on many different surfaces and the results are 1 degree F. up to 4 degrees F. at any range. I'll check back in the spring to see your experiment debunking this phenomenon. Likewise, I will wonder how many takes did not make the editing.

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    1. And can we see your experimental setup?

      Delete
  11. Hi again.
    On 29 December, 2015 I went out during the Waning Gibbous moon and tested the temperature difference of direct moonlight and shade. I held a temperature gun 3 feet from ground and rotated 15 degrees back and forth in and out of direct moonlight and shade. The results can be found here.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAcf-bVcjnU

    Still looking forward to your test and the results.
    Regards,

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  12. Why argue?

    The Oxford English Dictionary defines the scientific method as "a method or procedure consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."

    Next full moon is Jan. 23. If it is a clear night, measure the temperature in the moon shade and the moon light.

    That is all there is to it.

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  13. This article is written with a very defensive attitude. Wouldn't it be more scientific to present the views of the Youtubers and then offer scientific rational or experiments to show where they made their errors? Rather you attack those who you didn't agree with without any credible rebuttal. How difficult would it be to run the experiment and show the "unbiased" and controlled results instead. I agree with the comment earlier... if this was shown to be accurate, it would open a scientific door that could change the way we think about the universe and science.

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  14. Jon Emeigh, tomorrow is full moon.

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  15. Well, I too have been around the stupidity of Flat Earth. Let me say they have nothing. But it is were I heard of this occurrence. I was sure it had something to do with where the tests were performed in proximity to warmer objects etc.. But I performed the test, as prescribed, and it's true. there was a difference of 2 degrees Celsius in favor of the shade. It's possible that moon Light has a wave effect against the radiating warmth of the Earth but I really don't know.

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  16. Definitely looking for someone to confirm or deny this experiment with acceptable methods instead of just talk trash talk those who are actually doing the experiment. This phenomenon has been redorded time and time again by many people for many years. I'll be awaiting follow up comments with more to contribute to this than just naysaying from behind a computer keyboard.

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  17. I'd try this experiment with something other than the IR thermometer. I'd also try it in more than one way. The more data you have the better your results would be.

    I did go outside and wave around my IR thermometer and I got varying results. It did, in some cases, appear that areas in moonlight were cooler. Though the warmer areas were under things like chairs so my thinking is the chair provided some kind of slight insulation to heat radiating away? I also measured where a house blocked the moon and got nearly identical temperatures in both shadow and moonlight. I didn't record any of those measurements because I was just messing about.

    I'll try the experiment again at some point and put more thought into it to make sure the results are not skewed one way or the other. I like to think there's a logical explanation for why things happen. So, we'll see.

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  18. Even more stupid cooling moonlight video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKOJPVNr2eE .

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  19. The Jig is Up. NAZI NASA Zionist Freemason fake science is in trouble. They are planning their final false flag.... "We came from Aliens" Time to wake up to their lies.

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  20. The idea of cool Moonlight is religiously motivated for the most part, as is the belief in a flat Earth. This is a deeply held and irrational belief. There is no point in talking to these people. I have posted how flawed and more to the point, pointless their experiments are, I get mostly insults.

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  21. Funny thing about the "religious motivation" bit is that it isn't really even there. There's a passage in the book of Job (oldest Book in the whole Bible, by the way) that describes the Earth as "turning like clay on a potter's wheel". You know. On its axis.

    The only "flat earth" in the whole silly book is Jesus standing on a mountain seeing all the nations of the Earth, which reeks of allegory if you're not an idiot.

    The simple fact is that the Jews had enough interactions with and respect for the Greeks that a belief in a round Earth likely permeated their culture.

    But seriously, this is actually weird. Like, go outside and tell me you can't feel it on your skin. It's really trippy.

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  22. So is moonlight cooler than non-moonlight? Im trying to learn, please dont make me go to my local uni to ask them to test.

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  23. Their is more then one video. If you are so convinced one way or another, do the experiment yourself. Post it and lets see. You have already announced your biased attitude, so yours will be under the gavel more then most.

    In Ezekiel 7:2 it is translated “four corners” and again in Isaiah 11:12 “four corners.

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  24. This article is a disinformation service, bumped up on the search query 'cold' + 'moonlight', intended as a handle for anyone desperate for something to hang onto. It is a sort of dogmatic scientific sermon, full of credible rhetoric, but containing no real valid information to satisfy actual curiosity.

    Such standardized propaganda is easy to spot from the use of buzz-words like 'lunatic' and 'bunk', which are given to the copywriters to include and turn up over and over in such texts.

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    1. Have you heard of Occam's Razor? Because your hypothesis about this post involves a lot of extraneous elements.
      Look really hard at the word "lunacy" and see if you can figure out why I chose it.
      HINT: Latin root words might help.

      Delete
  25. Interesting. Several people commented that the amateur "scientist" was an interested and motivated experimenter and shouldn't be derided. Nothing could be further from the truth. He confirmed his bias and ignored readings that countered his expectations. What's more, he praises god at the end of the video. End of story.

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  26. Whatever... using flat earth to cast a questionable light on this issue... sobif the moon is radiating suns light.. still would make things in direct moonlight slightly warmer... and thank you for the tutorial on the workings of the ir thermometer.. apparently you are the only leraned one here.. if the ir wasnt accurate it would not be used

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  27. This question of the moon cooling was brought up on the Atheist Experience show on Sun 17 Jul 2016 by a Muslim caller living in Dubai. The caller's ultimate reason for believing this was the Quran. The caller also believed the moon created its own light. Interesting, doing some google research, many of the page 1 sites on whether the moon creates its own light or not say that the Quran states the moon is reflected light, but this is due to translation, with the Muslim sites trying to shoe horn science saying the moon is reflected light, and those trying to push flat earth ideas saying it says the moon is luminescence.
    But, I was really puzzled that a Muslim living in Dubai would think that moon shade would be warmer than moon light, surely having experienced that sun shade is cooler than being directly in the sun.

    The answer as to what is happening in most of these youTube videos was given by Dr Forrester: "I did go outside and wave around my IR thermometer and I got varying results." Moving the measurement just a short distance with these devices will give different results, and you could find cool or hot spots in and out of shaded or non-shaded areas.

    In doing further google research, I came across a phenomena that might explain why it feels cooler on a moon lit night. When looking upon a moon lit landscape, it will at first appear in shades of gray, there is not enough light for the eyes to make out color. After awhile though, the scene will take on a blue tint. This is called the Purkinje shift or dark adaptation. (This is the new thing I learned!) Although why this happens is not really known, I do know that objects colored blue will be perceived to be cooler. A plate of blue spaghetti will appear colder than a plate of red spaghetti. In other words, being out long enough for this blue shift to occur will make one think it has gotten cooler. This shift may also take place when a body has cooled significantly, adding to the effect, and making it seem like moon light cools things. Also, if the full moon can be seen, then it is probably a cloudless night, or near enough, and the ground will cool more.

    Moon light will actually warm a surface, but in an amount that could not be measured by regular measuring device.

    @c.fuller
    The ancient Hebrew 'cosmology' envisioned a flat disc with a 'firmament' or dome enclosing it and an underworld below. This was later revised when the Jews lived among the Greeks.

    @J
    The Earth is warmer with cloud cover, true, it is acting as a blanket to keep warmth in. But, cloud cover on during the day allows the Earth to cool. Mike W. does have a thought experiment that would make it seem like moon light cooled the thermometer at University of Illinois, Department of Physics.
    The are several Biblical references FEs will point out to maintain their view is correct, such as the description of the Earth as a circle, and the mention of four corners (not sure how they reconcile four corners with a circle).

    @imd12c4funn
    Nice try, but what your video shows is a display and you labeling the result of the unseen thing being measured as to whether it was in shade or not by what the display showed. Not good, putting it mildly.

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  28. I have uploaded a clip to my channel of the Atheist Experience caller "Ali from Dubai".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jp5xAaWMbA&feature=youtu.be

    Enjoy the cringe!

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  29. How does the FE theory explain the violation to the first and second law of thermodynamics? Where would the heat in those objects illuminated by the moon's light go? How do they explain the transfer of heat going from the hot object to the cold object (whichever it would be)? Even if they admit to not being able to explain it but having empirical evidence, they should be able to prove without using the light from the moon that heat CAN be transferred from colder to hotter...

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  30. Same results with normal digital Thermometers : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy0xOObf1HQ

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  31. I just did this experiment last night and used the laser pointer only 14 inches away from the surfaces as instructed by the thermometer
    Far from being a yokel the experiment also proved moonlight makes things colder
    Maybe you should just do the experiment instead of believing ANYBODY
    The thermometers only cost like 15-25 dollars online so do it and stop reading
    Ps: the temperature difference showed up best on black fabric which appeared to soak up the moonlight just as black also soaks up sunlight
    The white paper reflected the moonlight and didn't have as giant a temp difference but it was still clearly there

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    1. Syd,
      What is the spot-to-distance ratio on your thermometer?

      Delete
  32. Syd- can you detail your methodology? How did you control for every other factor that could lead to temperature fluctuations?

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  33. Never believe to much you see on youtube, especially when some stupid religion or silly god thing is mentioned. Simply pointing a cheap thermometer at something and recording a lower temp does not prove a thing as there could be so many other factors that influence the final reading. As some one else also stated it goes against the laws of thermodynamics.

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  34. As others have said, do the experiment yourself. I've done it several nights now over a period of time and I consistently find the moonlit side of various objects colder, sometimes as much as 5-6 degrees!! I also know how to use an IR thermometer, I use one for work all the time.

    Please don't just believe, but test this it yourself. The most dramatic differences seem to be on clear bright moon nights, near or full.

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  35. Apologies Moderator i left out some data in the last post please delete that one.

    I have done this experiment myself with a Fresnel Len (a large magnifying class) it is a spot lens that is very strong and gave me a 4 DEG CEL reading in the hot spot or cold spot  and 12.5 DEG CEL in the shade It sounds crazy because the moon does reflect light from the sun I have observed this being an amateur astronomer, and ancient text such as the book of Enoch says it is so. But I have done the experiment and moonlight is indeed cooler. I know this goes against the scientific principles of energy transfer where light usually makes heat because making something cold takes more energy. Anyway my experiment is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPi3n9br58M&feature=youtu.be
    And Article is at:

    http://writteninplainsight.com/articles/cold-light/

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  36. Since you know how to do it right have you done the experiment? Or are you just talking with no evidence

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  37. I love how there is no experimentation.

    No results.

    No contrary evidence.

    No counterclaims.

    Just derision of the person trying the experiment.


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  38. This person speaks a good talk but has obviously never actually done the experiment, it is easily verifiable and repeatable.

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  39. I did this experiment two nights ago at full moon with a temperature sensor LM 35 and an Arduino. The datasheet gives it an accuracy of plus/minus 0.5°C. The results:

    Direct (full) moonlight: 5.6°C
    Shadowed moon: 5.6°C
    Focussed moon light: 6.1°C

    I did not expect anything else but it was fun to give it a shot.

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  40. Interesting mister physics dude, I love how you put down regular people experimenting but they are just " yokels", you call them. Science is about having an open mind to all possibilities, nor squashing someone because they didn't graduated with a PhD. You have more knowledgeable society when all are willing to experiment and test theory. What ever happened to the hypothesis? Most scientists are not noted until they have gone outside the box.

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  41. What a waste of time reading this article.
    We learn by observation. But your observations you made are not valid. Let me who is sitting behind a desk tell you what you are seeing.

    Really?

    And simply making numbers up, reveals how far people will go to support their religion.

    Instead of pretending the numbers are wrong. Prove them wrong or else we try to understand why.

    Anything else isn't science. Its religion.

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  42. So rather than look at THOUSANDS of recreated results (which by virtue of number almost negate the so called controls, being that they are all getting the same results) you cllutch at straws to preserve Thermo Dynamics, pathetic, cognitivfe dissonance of the highest order, Until you can find the common "issue" causing "contamination" that would result in the majority of folks getting the same results(even this would be pretty lame attempt but at least it would be scientific)in a manner that EXCLUDES!! the possibility of the moonlight being cooler.
    Anyone want explain the trig of curvature? go on i dare you.
    Most Lighthouses are viewed from between 20 and 60 miles away, some up to 70/80 and more miles, bu lets use the lowest figure, 20 miles
    So a standard light house is between 40 and 100 ft high, again lets use the smallest height elevation, 40ft...so from 20 miles away there would be 100ft of curvature (there are curvature calculators online if your maths sucks) so from 20 miles the light house would be invisible, have a look at light houses, and how far away they can be seen? Isle of Wight light house, check it out....your curvature maths does NOT match observations...go on find a light house that fits the maths, interms of viewing distance, you may find 1 or 2, but the majority are far in excess if you do the maths, now i assume if you are a pHysisist you know trig, and that these numbers either work...or they do not...They do not. Pull your head out the sand

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  43. Its our duty to shake awake cognitive dissonance the like of which is displayed in this article. you call yourself a scientist but take an angle that so clearly favors your pre conceived ideas about the subject. this attitude is rife across the world, and it is the most dangerous around, it lends itself to ignorance, acting like this makes science a religion, science requires method and testing of all possible theories/ideas, the sheer fact you are dismissing these peeps as fools when you should be devising better experiments to prove or deny the claim that would be real science.

    Instead you belittle thousands of people doing real science, as best they can. If you are so advanced do some science and see what the results are (because technically trying to prove one view is not science, finding out what happens is) It is folks with your attitude that actually push me towards fringe idea's.

    When i hear such illogical, emotion filled and biased words coming from the community of science, it devalues the argument and standpoint and the community as a whole. I witness this more and more every day to the point where, for me its all up for debate....all of it, because its now clear to me there is very little solid info coming from the academic world at the moment, at least into the mainstream.

    I should point out i have been IQ tested several time the lowest i scored was 118 the highest was 145, and most were between 130 and 140, I am not stupid, in fact i'm close to the genius category, I had a great education at a private school i had to pass an exam to attend. I was accepted into Bristol Uni to study Physics, one of the best physics dept's in the world but chose not to go because of this very attitude, I am not religious. you cannot brush me under the carpet like I am some idiot of some religious fool. You will have to do much much better than this i am afraid. This is not science, this ego driven damage control

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    1. Hi Anonymous, so what do you want to tell us with your IQ? That you can not err? You were accepted but did not study physics and want to tell us how physics works? Is here anyone else bragging and boasting with IQ numbers?

      Every scientist has a "work theory" while doing experiments. And either the experiments fit his theory or not. If not he will have to revise his theory. So what was my theory?

      1. I know that the moon reflects sun light. Here are my conclusions:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=974dAEnjLtk

      2. If you have a certain temperature in the atmosphere around you this means that the air molecules have a certain kinetic energy.

      3. How can moon light take away energy when it actually itself is energy? Photons reflected towards us? This would be like a stove cooled down by an outside fire. From an energy point of view totally impossible.

      4. The only way to cool down things with light would be to exactly counter the swinging Brown motion of the air molecules, something we achieve with pulsed Lasers in laboratories when cooling down quantum experiments.

      5. This can not be true for the moon light, because the Brown motion of air molecules is erratic and the moon light is not "steered" to counter that motion. It is not even pulsed.

      6. I am sure most people "feel" colder in bright moon light, because that's the time when earth can radiate most of it's day warmth into space, unblocked by clouds. So from the "felt" coldness in moonshine nights some esoteric yoga-yin-yang guys have put the claim into the world that moonlight is cold, damp, putrifying because they always need a yang for their yin (sun). They compare sun and moon like apples and pears.

      7. Eric Dubay (self-declared flat earth anchorman) did this experiment in a video. He measured a 0.2 Celsius difference between moon light and shadow. He used thermometers that (look at amazon!) have an error margin of +/- 2.0 Celsius.

      8. If you ever do such experiments you will always have to tell the error margins of your setup and make sure that the effect you try to measure is significantly greater than the error margin of your experiment.

      9. In my setup the sensor had an error margin of +/-0.5 Celsius and I found not even a tiny difference. When I focussed the moon light with a lens, I got even a little "warmer" reading but that, too, was within the margin of error, so I won't put too much faith into it.

      I frankly do not care about your upbringing or IQ or religious status. (Even if you would be Einstein it would not matter to me.) Do the experiment, do it properly, publish it so it can be peer-reviewded. If you find the effect significant go on and find out the mechanism of it. That would be science.

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  44. I apologise for having not read through the previous comments.
    Did you personally conduct an experiment to demonstrate your point.
    Just curious.

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  45. Yes, I did. Personally. No effect.

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  46. Who wrote this blog?

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  47. Okay everyone,

    I saw the youtube videos, and I was intrigued, so I did the experiment twice between the hours of Aug 5th 9pm and Aug 6th 2am EST. I live in New England, and at our particular location tonight we had a perfectly clear night and an almost full moon (Full moon is Mon Aug 7th). Here's how I conducted the experiment:

    At 7pm, took 2 standard 16 oz bar glasses and filled them up halfway with tap water, exactly equal amounts. We let them sit outside from 7pm to 9:45pm, to allow the water to acclimate to the outside temperature, while we waited for the moon to come up above the tree line.

    At 9:45 pm, we took the glasses of acclimated water out to a big field on the side of my friends house where we would get approx 4 hours of uninterrupted moonlight. One glass measured 69.1 F. The other measured 69.2 F at that time. We made a small stand with 1" foam insulation board sitting up about 6" off the grass. The glasses were placed one foot apart on the foam and I put a piece of L-shaped cardboard in front of one to create shade. I decided on the foam base as a buffer so the glasses would not catch hot/cold from the ground. We let them sit for 2 hours, one in shade, one in direct moonlight.

    At 11:45 pm, we went back out to measure the temperature. I used a "Taylor Compact Instant-Read Pen Style Digital Thermometer". This is a digital cooking thermometer which measures to 1/10 of a degree. I left the thermometer in the water for 2 minutes each time to try to get as accurate as possible. At 11:45 pm, water in the shade measured 64.0 F. Water in the moonlight was 62.7 F. I decided to re-measure what I just did a second time. The second reading yielded similar results - 63.6 F in the shade, 62.5 F in the moonlight.

    At 1:45 am, we came back out and recorded the same temperatures twice, 58.8 F in the shade, 57.4 F in the moonlight (again, 2 minutes for each dip of the thermometer). It's just one test, first time ever doing this. We're going to test it again tomorrow. Does anyone have good advice for shooting video on this for youtube regarding lighting? My concern is getting lights too close to thermometer or glass and altering temp. I'd love to do this live-time so you can watch the thermometers change.

    One test is not enough. I plan on doing hundreds. If the moonlight is cooler, you will see that. If the moonlight is warmer, you will see that. Tonight, the moonlight was cooler by 1.3 F, 1.1 F, and 1.4 F each time we did the test. Till next time...

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    1. @Anonymous Although I like it that you put consideration in acclimation and insulation from ground I still have some issues with your measurement:

      You say your thermometer (Taylor Compact Instant-Read Pen Style Digital Thermometer) measures to 1/10th of a degree. It obviously does not. It only shows 1/10th on the display. What accuracy do you expect from a thermometer that ranges from -40 to 450 degrees F? You measured the first values twice. You have differences of 0.4 and 0.2 degrees in the same glasses. If you would do more measurements you would probably get a better feeling for the error margin of your thermometer. Unfortunately I can not find any declaration of that margin on Amazon, but it might be 0.5 or even 1 degree. And when your differences are within the +/- error margin your results are not trustworthy. I do not think that a cooking thermometer is a good tool to overthrow the whole of physics.

      And where did you put that L-shaped cardboard? Did it block out wind?

      Have you swapped the measurement series (once starting with the moonlit one and the other time starting with the shaded one) in order to see if the thermometer ALWAYS measures less temperature in the second go? How much time did you allow between the measurements. Was the thermometer acclimated as well? It has a metal rod. A few drops of water on it in fresh air make the metal colder. Has that any influence, even if you measure afterwards for two minutes? All things you will have to check in your next experiments.

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  48. @Anonymous You also have to consider that everything that has a temperature radiates energy even if its not in the visible spectrum. The background temperature of the sky is aproximately 4 Kelvin i.e. close to absolute zero. When you place anything shading your test object from the sky this will have about the same temperature as the surrounding air and will radiate way more energy and probably cover a way larger area of the sky (as seen from your glass of water) than the moon.

    To compensate for this effect my suggestion is that you place a similar cardboard screen at the same distance at the other glass but from an angle that will only block the sky and not the moon.

    You should really read up on the effects of thermal radiation, this is the same reason your windshield will get frosty while the side windows of your car will may not when it's cold outside and the weather is clear. Your front window is angled more towards empty sky while the side windows are more angled to buildings trees, the ground etc.

    @Pit Gutzmann While I agree that cooling moonlight is bullshit I don't think the error margin of the thermometer is the problem here. Usually the error margin will tell you the absolute error of the value reported compared to the actual temperature. In this case the absolute value is unimportant, what is important is the difference in temperature between the measurements and here I would expect the thermometer to be much more accurate than the error margin. Otherwise I agree with your statements.

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  49. Hello all. I was the one who made the post on Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 3:59 AM under Anonymous. That was my first ever post on this site. This is my second. I will be using the handle Cool Moon from now on. Fitting, don't you think?

    @Erik Ryman We're light years ahead of you Erik. We repeated the experiment the following night and I did just that. We scrapped the cardboard and I used another piece of foam board going diagonally across the rectangular foam-board base such that the glass in the shade was the same distance from the divider board as the moonlit glass. Similar results once again - approx 1.3 - 1.4 F cooler in moonlight.

    DISCLAIMER - Before I go further, I need Erik, Pit, and anyone else following this thread to please understand a few things.

    The whole reason I did this experiment was because of a couple observations I made.
    OBS #1) It seems like the people both here and commenting on youtube refuse to take the experiment seriously and try it on their own. That is sad, especially with an experiment as simple as this. No offense guys, but I gotta call a spade a spade.
    OBS #2) I will agree with Positron that much of the actual experimentation being done on youtube is shoddy at best, which is why I wanted to do it, and try to improve upon the other methods being used.

    I came into this experiment having absolutely no clue as to what results I would find, which is why I used items my friends and I already had available to us. I had not then and have not now any bias toward my findings one way or the other. I really don't care. I wanted to see things with my own eyes and see what the fuss was about. We were all eventually shocked at those initial findings of a few weeks ago.

    We will be experimenting again this Mon & Tues (9/4/17 & 9/5/17) as those look to be the best weather for us. If we come up with cooler moonlight once again, believe me, more expensive equipment is in the works. I hope to be able to post this week's results on youtube, so you guys can at least check out the setup.

    Till then,
    Keep it cooool.

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  50. This is a terrible article. If someone goes and tries this experiment and they get in close, and they find out that you're wrong, what then?

    Look, I'm a round earth shill, but all you're doing with this article is convincing people that the flat earthers might be on to something.

    You should delete this an post a real answer.

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  51. I have done this experiment many times the biggest difference in temperature comes from an aluminum baking sheet it was over 10 degrees difference when you dismiss this experiment it proves to me that you're science is wrong

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  52. Yes, I too have done this experiment once and seen over a 35 degree difference therefore moonlight is proved to be a coldmaker unlike sunlight.

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  53. All people who post under the name "Anonymous" and do not provide method, type of devices, error margin and test data do not really contribute to the discussion. If I said I have done hundred experiments and proven that Jupiter is a cube you would expect me to support this view by solid data.

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  54. @Pit Gutzmann

    You are not exactly contributing to much yourself except for derision and ridicule. I have news for you: Derision and ridicule are not science! While I agree that many of the YT videos could be better quality with better instrumentation, at least those people are attempting the experiment. The one time you "tried" this yourself, on March 13, 2017 at 8:51 AM, you said, "I did not expect anything else but it was fun to give it a shot." That is exactly the reporting bias that Positron speaks of. If you found the ML to be cooler, do you think you would have shared that with us? Of course not! Once and done? Clap the dust off your hands? Case closed? That's not how science works.

    On August 30, 2017 at 12:27 PM, Erik Ryman said, "@Pit Gutzmann While I agree that cooling moonlight is bullshit..." How do you know it's bullshit if you have not done the experiment? Sounds like more biased ignorance to me, once again without experimentation.

    I hope "scientists" like Positron, Erik, and yourself realize the extremely dangerous position you have put yourself in, especially Positron with such a long post and no experimentation on his end. That is just plain foolish on his part. You have all come out like close-minded gangbusters declaring that there is no way ML could have a cooling effect, yet blatantly refuse to do any serious experiments yourselves. Hmmm. I wonder why that is. Afraid of what you might find? Afraid that maybe after all, ML is a negative, anti-photon light? Afraid this might expose bigger, deeper lies? I believe deep down you are afraid of just this.

    I like the quote that Positron left toward the end of his post, "But science—GOOD science—is the struggle against that instinct to cling to the dream as it dissolves around you, because as Randall Munroe said, "You don't use science to show that you're right. You use science to become right."

    And this is exactly what is happening, though in the reverse way that Positron expects. The heliocentric model is dissolving, and you guys are "clinging to the dream", despite new evidence. In his case, he, and you, will "become wrong" because of science. Positron will at some point realize that maybe it was not such a good idea to write such a long blasphemous blogpost, without maybe getting off his ass and doing a little more field work. In fact, to date, none of you has USED SCIENCE AT ALL!!! I shall reiterate: Ridicule, derision, and calling people yokels is not science!

    I can admit my experiments, and those of others thus far have been inconclusive at best, while some do at least leave the door open. However, that is science! Taking what you learned and improving upon it. Using the scientific method, improving upon mistakes, and eliminating variables. Not once and done like Pit's biased garbage experiment!

    So go ahead, keep "clinging to the heliocentric-globe dream." While you are all out ridiculing, deriding, and writing blasphemous blogposts which are NOT based on experimentation, I, and other FEers will be out doing something which you all REFUSE to do -- keep and open mind whilst using the scientific method. Don't accuse us of the "method, type of devices, error margin and test data" (blah blah blah) when you yourself refuse to do a serious experiment. That is not being a scientist. That is being an ignoramus.

    You guys and your poor attitudes have motivated me to want to dump a few thousand into this experiment and end this thing once and for all. So for that, I thank you. When I can get good nighttime quality video without the camera shaking like "some yokel", I will post a link. And then, I will keep repeating the experiment over and over and over...

    Till then, keep it cooool...

    -Cool Moon

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