And the Moon! Oh, the Moon!The Moon is a constant presence in the night sky of Etrea. Though it is known by many different names, it always serves a bright companion on a dark road or a lonely night.
She shines down her silver light on me!
The MoonThe Moon is an astronomical body that orbits Etrea as its only satellite. It is made primarily of rock, and some scholars theorise that it was long ago a part of Etrea itself before it broke away in some natural calamity. As it orbits Etrea, it rotates slowly on its axis. The Moon is encircled by two overlapping rings of rock and dust. These rings spin in harmony with the Moon itself, but they have been observed to grow and shrink in size over a period of time.
BlemishesSeveral distinguishable landmarks have been observed on the surface of the Moon. These are the ones that are visible with the naked eye:
- The Fingers - this blemish looks like a hand reaching across the south half of the Moon. Whilst it is visible, it is spring in the northern hemisphere of Etrea and autumn in the southern hemisphere.
- The Eye - this blemish looks a lot like an eye that is wide open. Whilst it is visible, it is winter in the northern hemisphere of Etrea and summer in the southern hemisphere.
- The Dark Ocean - this blemish spreads across the surface of the Moon like a stain. Whilst it is visible, it is summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere.
The above names are used in Serukis and Kaien
TimekeepingThrough the observation of certain landmarks, scholars in several countries have realised that the rotation of the Moon closely matches the length of the Etrean year. That is, certain landmarks are only visible at certain times of year and they are always visible at that time of year. As several of these landmarks - or blemishes, as they often known - are visible with the naked eye, they have been used as a measure of timekeeping in many countries before it became a scholarly fact. The Moon is also crucial to timekeeping in other ways. As the moon orbits Etrea, it appears to change shape. This is caused by light from the Sun hitting the Moon at a different angle. Every 28 days, the Moon changes from appearing full and round to almost disappearing from the night sky completely.
An eclipse occurs when the Moon crosses in front of the Sun, blocking sunlight from reaching Etrea. In some rare cases, conditions will be precisely right for a total eclipse, where the Moon covers the Sun completely. For a short while, everything on Etrea goes dark. To observers, the Sun appears black, surrounded by a bright halo of light. In many cultures, an eclipse is a sign of impending disaster or tragedy.