The December 2011 issue of the international journal Communicating Astronomy with the Public will feature an article by Dutch astronomy professor Peter Barthel, analysing illustrations of the moon on gift wrap and in children’s books, in the Netherlands and the USA. On the basis of research conducted during the winter of 2010-2011, Barthel concluded that the crescent moon and half-moon are often drawn incorrectly on gift wrap and in books dealing with Santa Claus and his Dutch peer Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas.
Where the illustrator would actually like to depict an evening event, often the third quarter moon - the morning moon - is drawn. This lack of knowledge concerning the physical origin of the moon phases is found to be widespread in the Netherlands but also clearly exists in the USA, and is quite possibly a worldwide phenomenon. The author also investigated moon illustrations related to Halloween, finding similar results, and concludes: ‘Many people do not seem to know that a waning crescent moon rises around 2 or 3 a.m. ...’
Although Barthel spends most of his time investigating Active Galaxies and Active Galactic Nuclei, he also has a keen interest in science communication and education. ‘If this research stimulates people to see for themselves what the moon phase is during the evening – and to understand it – this tongue-in-cheek research will have been well worth the effort!’
More information: Prof. Peter Barthel
See also: http://www.astro.rug.nl/~pdb/santa.html
Dr Annette Scheepstra of the UG Arctic Centre, part of the Faculty of Arts, is about to conduct research into tourism in Antarctica and how tourists can become Antarctic ambassadors. She has been granted €1 million in funding by the Dutch Research...
This year, the Dutch Astronomy Olympiad was organized by the astronomers of the Kapteyn Institute of the University of Groningen.
Thanks to research by Professors Francesco Picchioni and Ton Broekhuis of the Engineering and Technology Institute Groningen of the University of Groningen, a method has been developed with which rubber from old tires can be reused in new products....
The UG website uses functional and anonymous analytics cookies. Please answer the question of whether or not you want to accept other cookies (such as tracking cookies).
If no choice is made, only basic cookies will be stored. More information