A meticulous analysis of celestial accuracy in Goodnight Moon

Illustration for article titled A meticulous analysis of celestial accuracy in emGoodnight Moon/em

Because "technically correct" is the best kind of correct.

What begins as a simple observation that it takes the bunny in Goodnight Moon an hour and ten minutes to go to bed (did you ever notice the clock in the bedroom?) turns into a highly entertaining, full-blown astronomical analysis, in this post by Burrito Justice.


The analysis begins with an inspection the Moon's path across the sky:

IANAA, but the moon is about half a degree wide as seen from the surface of the earth, and "rises" at 15 degrees per hour, or 2.5 degrees per 10 minute interval (i.e. per color page in the book). That's 5 moon widths per page, or 35 moon widths for the story. (Do let me know if I got this horrifically wrong.)


Helpfully, Burrito Justice created a GIF of the Moon on the rise from the six pages on which the satellite is visible. In doing so, two things become clear. One: the moon in the story travels only about half a moon-width per 10 minute interval, as opposed to the expected five moon widths. Two: the moon actually gets bigger. "Maybe the bunny and the old lady are actually in a space elevator, getting closer to the moon as he gets into bed?" muses Burrito Justice. "Or as suggested by @transitmaps, the bunny can bend space and time? I do not have a good answer to this conundrum, but that is what the comments are for."

The analysis then continues, veering off into some good discussions on Roche limits and the Moon's orbital distance. It's a truly great moment in pedantry, complete with diagrams and calculations, and definitely worth the look.


[Burrito Justice]


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First, find the mouse. The mouse knows.

Also, there's a cow jumping over the moon that has been systematically excluded from this study.

Is this peer reviewed?