Lunar Phases

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Title: Explore the effect of the lunar phase on events on Earth - temperature and birth rates. Subject: Astronomy Grade level: High school - grades 10-12 Project Type: Descriptive Cost: Low Awards: First place in the Leader Regional Science Fair 2003

Honorable Mention at the Canada Wide Science Fair 2003. Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair Link: http://www.virtualsciencefair.org/2003/sitte3b/public_html/ | Short Background |
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Lunar phase (or Moon phase) refers to the appearance of the illuminated portion of the Moon as seen by an observer, usually on Earth. The lunar phases vary cyclically as the Moon orbits the Earth, according to the changing relative positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. One half of the lunar surface is always illuminated by the Sun (except during lunar eclipses), and is hence bright, but the portion of the illuminated hemisphere that is visible to an observer can vary from 100% (full moon) to 0% (new moon). The boundary between the illuminated and unilluminated hemispheres is called the terminator.The lunar effect is a theory which overlaps into sociology, psychology and physiology suggesting that there is correlation between specific stages of the Earth's lunar cycle and deviant behavior in human beings. It is a pseudoscientific theory, however. The claims of a correlation of lunar phases to human behavior do not hold up under scientific scrutiny. Over the past 30 years, even more evidence has emerged to stress that this is pseudoscience. The theory is sometimes also referred to as the Transylvanian hypothesis or the Transylvanian effect in scholarly literature.The notion behind the lunar effect has fascinated many behavioralists and warranted many experiments and studies. Most experiments, however, have found no correlation between the variables and, thus, refuted the theory.There are some studies which have results the researchers claimed supported the theory. For example, a study concluded that schizophrenic patients...
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