He is the nation’s favorite astrophysicist, and if you’re not following him on Twitter, you’re missing out on some pretty amazing insight into our galaxy. Neil deGrasse Tyson had some harsh words for the “SuperMoon” fanatics on Twitter this weekend, but he made up for it by tweeting what was really mind-boggling about the moon.
@neiltyson is one of the few science-related Twitter accounts I follow, and he has yet to let me down. He is constantly tweeting little tidbits of space-y information that makes you go “ooooooh” and “aaaaah” and marvel at just how big our universe really is.
This weekend, many people on Twitter and off were talking about the “SuperMoon” that was to come on Saturday March 19th. Some were tweeting that it would cause earthquakes, others just eagerly awaiting the sight of a moon 14% larger than normal. But Tyson jumped on Twitter to tell everyone why they shouldn’t really care about the SuperMoon – but why the moon itself is a fascinating orbital body.
Tyson began his anti-SuperMoon tweets by raining on a few people’s parades. The day before the fated “SuperMoon” was to make its appearance, he tweeted:
“Full moon at “perigee” Saturday. 14% larger than when at “apogee”. No biggie. Same difference between an 8 and a 7-inch pizza”
And in the hours before, he showed people just how “special” this moon was:
“RealityCheck: View “SuperMoon” while looking through an ordinary drinking straw. The entire Moon fits in your field of view”
And finally, after images of the “SuperMoon” began cropping up, he smacked a reality check on them, too:
“Images of huge Moons over trees & buildings used extreme zoom. Try with non-zooming camera — the Moon’s barely visible.”
But it seems like Tyson had a change of heart on Sunday, presumably after he received more than a few distressed @replies about the lack of substance to the “SuperMoon” media frenzy.
For instance, he tweeted that a “full Earth” as seen from the moon is 60 times brighter than the full moon as seen from Earth.
The other moon facts that Tyson shares on Twitter are just as fascinating, and I found this image created by Reddittor mepper which collects them all into one beautifully-laid out paragraph. Enjoy (click to enlarge):