Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Crescent Moon with Star

Bringing Fantasy to Life
(+2, -2)
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Many cultural symbols display a star in very close proximity to the moon. Some even show the star impossibly within the dark portion of the moon. This image is popular in both fantasy, and is recognized as a symbol of Islam.

Religion aside, this idea is to bring the image to life to help inspire new generations of fantasy artists and writers. It would consist of a simple array of LEDs that would be blasted into space and sent to the moon. Picture a fishnet with LEDs at the intersections of the warp & weft. Of course, a power supply would be necessary to light the LEDs, and a computer control (or someone with a really powerful remote control) would tell the array when to light up.

Placement of the array (or multiple arrays) would be critical. It must be precisely placed on the dark side of the moon so that it would be visible during the waning crescent. Then, at the right time of the moon phase, it would turn on, lighting up to appear as a star that is located within the crescent of the moon. Fantasy comes to life!

Salted Nuts, Jan 17 2007

Ottoman flag http://en.wikipedia..._the_Ottoman_Empire
This link shows a flag with a star within the crescent moon [Salted Nuts, Jan 17 2007]


       //warp & weft//   

       Cool words. What about this fishnets with LEDs? You're just prodding at bad fashion with ideas like this.
daseva, Jan 17 2007

       Why not just drill a star-shaped hole right through the moon, so the sun would shine through (reflected off angled mirrors on the far side of the moon)? Then you wouldn't need a vast power supply for the LEDs.
hippo, Jan 18 2007

       //It must be precisely placed on the dark side of the moon...// In my elementary understanding of astronomy, luna, and the geography of the solar system , I thought that the dark side of the moon was always unseen to those of us on Earth because it circles or orbits us, but does not revolve on its own axis. Therefore, the placement of your array on "the dark side", or back side, would not be visible to anyone other than the occasional astronaut.   

       It would be much better, for the purposes of this idea, to place the array within the Earth's projected shadow upon the visible hemisphere of the moon. One supposes that undertaking would be called the "Muslim Moon Mission", and the light switch might be controlled from Mecca via the International Space Station with a special mandate that it always be lighted during the twelve days of Christmas in the interests of global peace.
jurist, Jan 18 2007

       <Pink Floyd>There is no Dark Side of the Moon...</Pink Floyd> No, really, there is no side of the moon which is permanently dark. [jurist] is almost right in his explanation except that the moon *does* revolve on its own axis, but with a period which is the same as the period of its orbit around the Earth, so it always presents the same side to us. Perhaps the cheapest option would be a big star-shaped mirror floating at the Lagrange (gravitationally neutral) point between the Earth and the moon, reflecting sunlight back to the Earth.
hippo, Jan 18 2007

       Damn, [hippo], you replied before I could get back and delete my erroneousness. I guess now it has to stand. I suddenly feel entirely "medieval" in my concept of the universe.
jurist, Jan 18 2007

       I don't know where it comes from, but there's an image in a nineteenth century poem of a crescent moon with a star between the cusps, and it really annoys me because it ignores the reality of the Moon's reality as a _ball_ of rock and is a parochial way of looking at the Universe. If the Moon actually had the appearance of a star between its cusps when it was a crescent, it would be bad educationally and reflect a narrow-minded view of the Universe. Also, what about waxing and waning? There would have to be two.   

       OK, maybe if it was an actual five- or six-pointed star shape and it twinkled. [+]
nineteenthly, Jan 18 2007

       Brothers, we need to stop toying with mere aesthetic frivolities, and work for the greater good: with a few extra mirrors here and there, we can turn the crescent moon into a sickle, and add a hammer crossing it. Comrades, let the night sky unambiguously extol the power and glory of the Motherland!
imaginality, Jan 18 2007

       That could be done with a much smaller asteroid, chiselled into that shape and orbiting just a few hundred kilometres up. On the other hand, how about painting the moon a different colour?
nineteenthly, Jan 18 2007

       Whichever system used - be it mirrors LED arrays, whatever - it should flash in codes like "A.r.m.s.t.r.o.n.g. .w.a.s..H.e.r.e." (or better yet like a scrolling message!)
Jinbish, Jan 18 2007

       "Y.o.u.'.r.e. .T.a.i.l.g.a.t.i.n.g.!" - oh no, wait, that's another idea.
hippo, Jan 18 2007

       Just hold a rock concert there. All the fans with their lighters will create the star!
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 18 2007

       Yes [nineteenthly] that is what sparked this idea, the impossibility of the star within the crescent. I have searched for that figure, as well as a name for the anomoly, but with no luck. I don't think there need to be two of the arrays, though. This would be an intermittent display for special occasions, such as [jurist] recommended. As for twinkling, if the LED array included not just white LEDs, but a selection of the colored LEDs, this could be achieved, making it appear as if a planet, and not a star, is within the crescent (this could also be accomplished with the much ballyhooed mirror option using colored mirrors, I suppose).
Salted Nuts, Jan 18 2007

       How about using mirrors, as some have suggested, but put them on very tall towers on the moon?   

       Place the towers at the center of the visible face of the moon. Make them tall enough that when the moon is a crescent, and the base of the towers is in shadow/night, the top of the towers stick up far enough to be in sunlight. Then arrange mirrors on the towers to reflect sunlight toward us when the sun is over at that angle.   

       This is just an improved version of what happens with mountains on the moon. As the sunrise/sunset line moves across, some mountain peaks stick up and make points of light in the darkness for a while.
baconbrain, Mar 02 2014


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