(Mirror Daily, United States) – Researchers from the Washington University have observed that the moon influences rainfall. The degree of influence is not considerable, but it is noticeable. The results of the research showed that the moon influences rainfall mostly when it is directly overhead.
According to the lead researcher of the study that will be published in the journal “Letters of Geophysical Research,” the moon influences rainfall. The atmospheric sciences doctoral student at the Washington University, Tsubasa Kohyama, noticed a slight oscillation in the levels of air pressure while studying atmospheric waves.
Kohyama then convinced the atmospheric sciences professor at the Washington University, John Wallace, to join him in studying the strange phenomenon. The two researchers spent two years analyzing the data before reaching the conclusion that the moon influences rainfall.
The first observations made on the subject date back to 1847 when the moon phases were linked to the changes in air pressure and then in 1932 when changes in temperature were observed to be associated with the passing of the moon. Both studies were made using ground-based observations.
In order to obtain accurate results, the scientists used data collected by the Japan Exploration Aerospace Agency and NASA’s mission satellite that measures tropical rainfall. The data was registered by the satellite from 1998 to 2012. The fifteen years’ worth of information was processed by the Washington University scientists and they concluded that the high moon influences rainfall.
Kohyama and Wallace determined that the reason behind the moon’s influence on rainfall is the fact that the air pressure goes up when the moon is underfoot or overhead. The increased air pressure builds up more humidity which leads to a higher amount of precipitations.
It is not the first natural phenomenon that is affected by the phases of our natural satellite. The moon also affects tide waves, as it pulls the water wherever the satellite is closer to the surface of our planet.
The moon has fascinated humanity since early times. Many of the ancient civilizations attributed the figure of the moon to a deity. The interesting fact is that while the sun was, in almost every culture, a symbol of goodness, beauty and prosperity (see Ra and Apollo), the moon was considered to be if not evil, at least very dangerous.
The ancient Egyptians thought the moon was an eye of their supreme deity, Ra, and it could be unleashed by the god to do terrible things to his enemies, the Greeks called her Selena, the Mayans thought she represented a woman’s cycle.
Apart from the tides, the ancient cultures and the romantic late-night walks, it seems that the moon influences rainfall as well.
Image source: www.deviantart.net
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