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Illumination of the Moon

Dr. Neville Thomas Jones, Ph.D.


Figure 1: The full Moon, evenly illuminated.

The illumination of the lunar surface in Fig. 1 is completely even. However, if the Moon is spherical, then the light reflected from it ought to have a lambertian profile, as indicated in Fig. 2, where the intensity profile is brightest in the centre and falls off dramatically to almost zero at the edge. This has already been noted by Dr. James Palmer and Dr. Brandon Weakland, amongst others.

 

IDL image

Figure 2: The intensity of light reflected off the outer surface of a sphere would fall off sharply towards the perceived edges of that sphere.

Furthermore, the lunar disc cannot be supplemented with light coming from the World, because this is a full Moon (so there isn't any light from the World).

 

Conclusion

The conventional explanation for moonlight being simply sunlight reflected off a convex spherical surface is inadequate for describing what we see.