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Yet that's exactly how it is on the Moon. To visualize the experience of Apollo astronauts, imagine the sky turning completely and utterly black while the sun continues to glare. Your silhouette darkens, telling you "you're not on Earth anymore.

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Shadows were one of the first things Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong mentioned when he stepped onto the surface of the moon. The Eagle had touched down on the Sea of Tranquility with its external equipment locker, a stowage compartment called "MESA," in the shadow of the spacecraft.

Although the sun was blazing down around them, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to work in the dark to deploy their TV camera and various geology tools. Above : Blinding sunshine, dark shadows and the lunar lander Antares. Knopf copyright But, added Aldrin, "continually moving back and forth from sunlight to shadow should be avoided because it's going to cost you some time in perception ability. Truly, moon shadows aren't absolutely black. Sunlight reflected from the moon's gently rounded terrain provides some feeble illumination, as does the Earth itself, which is a secondary source of light in lunar skies.

Given plenty of time to adapt, an astronaut could see almost anywhere.

The Secrets Hiding in Your Shadow

They had just landed at Fra Mauro and were busily unloading the lunar module. Items on the pallet were held down by "Boyd bolts," each bolt recessed in a sleeve used to guide the Universal Handling Tool, a sort of astronaut's wrench. Shepard would insert the tool and give it a twist to release the bolt--simple, except that the sleeves quickly filled with moondust. The tool wouldn't go all the way in. The sleeve made its own little shadow, so "Al was looking at it, trying to see inside. And he couldn't get the tool in and couldn't get it released--and he couldn't see it," recalls Mitchell.

It was just pitch black.

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That's an amazing phenomenon on an airless planet. The shadow belongs to Al Shepard. A key goal of the Apollo 12 mission was to visit Surveyor 3, to retrieve its TV camera, and to see how well the craft had endured the harsh lunar environment. Surveyor 3 sat in a shallow crater where Conrad and Bean could easily get at it--or so mission planners thought.

The astronauts could see Surveyor 3 from their lunar module Intrepid.

How are we going to get down there? I remember us talking about it in the cabin, about having to use ropes.

What Next?

What happened? When Conrad and Bean landed, the sun was low in the sky. The top of Surveyor 3 was sunlit, while the bottom was in deep darkness.

A final twist: When astronauts looked at the shadows of their own heads, they saw a strange glow. Buzz Aldrin was the first to report " Right : A silvery glow surrounds the shadow of an Apollo astronaut's helmut.


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This is the "opposition effect. Sounds simple?

Darkness And Light Quotes ( quotes)

It's not. Other factors add to the glare. The lunar surface is sprinkled with glassy spherules think of them as lunar dew drops and crystalline minerals, which can reflect sunlight backwards. And then there's "coherent backscatter"--specks of moondust smaller than the wavelength of light diffract sunlight, scattering rays back toward the sun. We can experience the opposition effect here on Earth, for example, looking away from the sun into a field of tall dewy grass.

The halo is there, but our bright blue sky tends to diminish the contrast.

Fighting Shadows in the Dark

For full effect, you've got to go to the Moon. Luminous halos; mind-bending shadows; fairy-castles made of moondust. For to wish for a hand on one's hair is all but to feel it. So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again.

You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don't know what work they are accomplishing within you?

Carl Jung called this his shadow work. He said we never see others. Instead we see only aspects of ourselves that fall over them. Our associations. The same way old painters would sit in a tiny dark room and trace the image of what stood outside a tiny window, in the bright sunlight. The camera obscura. Not the exact image, but everything reversed or upside down. Tolkien, The Silmarillion. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.

Always been pretending to follow you closely, alwyas been pretending to sharpen my teeth, when the truth is, I am Auden, The Dyer's Hand. Forster, A Room with a View. No one can make anyone else happy. Learn to live in the light of your soul. Life deserves full expression. And all the time one hears the human crowd swirling and thundering around one in the whirlwind of life, one hears, one sees how people live—that they live in reality, that for them life is not something forbidden, that their lives are not scattered for the winds like dreams or visions but are forever in the process of renewal, forever young, and that no two moments in them are ever the same; while how dreary and monotonous to the point of being vulgar is timorous fantasy, the slave of shadow, of the idea One does a curious kind of insult to another by falling in love with him, for we are really looking at our own projection of God, not at the other person.

If two people are in love, they tread on star dust for a time and live happily ever after—that is so long as this experience of divinity has obliterated time for them. Only when they come down to earth do they have to look at each other realistically and only then does the possibility of mature love exist. If one person is in love and the other not, the cooler one is likely to say, "We would have something better between us if you would look at me rather than at your image of me.

It follows you everywhere. The giant, burnt-orange sphere sinks towards the horizon, coloring the rock layers until it's gone and the canyon is covered in shadow.