The Great Moonlight Temperature Experiment


When I get challenged to show examples of how popular (so-called) science has misled us or deliberately lied to us, this simple experiment always comes to mind. The idea involves measuring the temperature of moonlight compared to moonshade, and is something anyone can test and draw their own conclusions from.

Our cherished text books and lab coated priests  tells us that Moon light is produced by the face of the Moon reflecting the rays of the sun. They also tell us that Moon light is marginally warm, but by such a minuscule amount that specialised (read: expensive & not available to everyone) equipment would be needed in order to measure this very slight temperature raise.

This is of course rubbish and simply repeating what they themselves were taught by their brainwashed teachers. In reality a couple of thermometers from a corner store with accuracy down to 0.1° Fahrenheit OR Celsius will do the job just fine.

Here are my rough instructions but, as is the beauty of physical science, anyone can improve, simplify, refine or redesign the experiment however they see fit


I was lucky enough, (11 months ago [wink wink]) to talk to the right person about this hot topic debate  on twitter. He’s a Senior Research Associate at Cardiff University that has much experience in relevant fields dealing with these measurements. After much debate he assured me that as soon as he has the time he will indeed be conducting his version of this potentially paradigm changing experiment




It’s strange that I’m having trouble finding credible sources explaining how moonlight is so degraded by the time it reaches us that the ‘warmth’ is imperceptible. There were many examples when I looked 2 years ago. There’s several “ask a Scientist” forums that seem to deliberately skirt the issue by asking questions like “can someone please define moonshade?” and other nonsense. When pressed they may claim:

“Moon light will actually warm a surface, but in an amount that could not be measured by regular measuring device.”

One answer I found particularly innovative in it’s avoidance, was in response to the question

“Is is possible to start a fire using moonlight?”

I imagine most people would read this in the context of using a magnifying glass or parabolic mirror to concentrate the moonlight, but the reply made me chuckle:

“Moonlight has a spectral peak around 650nm (the sun peaks at around 550nm). Ordinary solar cells will work just fine to convert it into electricity. The power of moonlight is about 500,000 times less than that of sunlight, which for a solar constant of 1000W/m^2 leaves us with about 2mW/m^2. After accounting for optical losses and a typical solar cell efficiency of roughly 20%, we can probably hope to extract approx. 0.1mW with a fairly simple foil mirror of 1 m^2 surface area. Accumulated over the course of a whole night with a full moon, this leaves us with around 6h∗3600s/h∗0.1mW ≈ 2J of energy. That’s plenty of energy to ignite a fire using the right chemicals and a thin filament as a heater.”

Below is the frequently flaunted debunking article at Physics Central, critiquing the use of laser thermometers in moonlight experiments, which have become the weapon of choice for the curious experimenter. His points about the accuracy of laser thermometers may be justified, despite being sanctioned by chefs and ‘elf n’ Safety bods routinely everyday.

What bugs me about this self proclaimed science guru is that he couldn’t actually be bothered to do the experiment himself, much less offer a better scientific way to determine the results. It would seem, they just don’t want us looking at this

Moonshine and Lunacy

Friday, October 02, 2015 – Posted by ‘Positron’ on Physics Central

As always the comment are where real ‘peer review’ is done (good and bad)






So, despite debating this with all walks of life and being told by many that they will be doing the experiment themselves, none have ever come back with any results (but I hate to name names [wink wink]).

This is similar to the request I’ve made to draw the configuration of earth, moon and sun, showing a gibbous moon during the day or a crescent moon at night (Impossible moon phases).

So, please feel free to join the many curious minds out there, and design and conduct your own experiment to measure moonlight temperatures and let me know how you get on. The 5 times I have performed this over the years has shown me just how easy it’s been for the Establishment to obfuscate, deceive and out right lie to us about the natural world around us.

This video seems to be one of the most comprehensive test I’ve seen, though many others have now been removed from the net

what does twitter say? Well my oldest follower (that’s time, not age) on twitter tried it out for himself the other day – shame on him for thinking he can ‘do science’

Nice one alien!


Others are a little more stuck in their ways, maybe because they haven’t/won’t #TESTIT






Find me on Twitter @SwearyG


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