We Used to Have Two Moons


What if the Earth had not one but two moons? On February 9, 1913, observers across the northeastern United States witnessed a progression of meteors flying through the cloudy night sky. About five hours later, there was another flurry of meteors. They were notable to the lay observers in that they were unusually bright. They were notable to astronomers because they seemed to have no obvious radiant. A radiant in astronomy is the point in the sky at which something originates. 

For example, if a meteor slingshots around Jupiter, crosses past the Earth and then heads towards the sun, astronomers will watch it approach the earth, track it across the sky, and then watch it pass. The meteors in 1913 didn’t do that. They seemed to appear as if out of thin air (vacuum?). 

Astronomers have been divided on the source of the meteors for 109 years now; however, the leading theory is that the meteors represented a short-lived natural satellite. In normal English, a satellite is a moon. It’s not clear if the meteors were one singular moon that broke apart or if they were a string of bodies that somehow escaped Earth’s orbit. However, it is well-theorized that they were captured in Earth’s orbit, at least for a while. 

Where Did the Second Moon Come From?

It’s not clear where Moon II came from; the two possibilities are the same two possibilities for the origin of OG Moon. Moon: The Remix was either matter ejected from the Earth or a celestial body captured by Earth’s gravity. One scientist theorized that they were ejected from a lunar volcano, but the existence of a previously-active lunar volcano is mostly just speculation. Scientists like to call that “postulation” when they don’t want to admit they’re just making stuff up. Well, I postulate that aliens were involved, but that’s neither here nor there. 

Whatever the origin of the Moon sequel, it has long since flown away from us. So, why does any of this matter?

Why Does the Second Moon Matter?

In short, it doesn’t. It is somewhat interesting, though. On a more serious note, imagine how jacked up every horoscope must have been. Everybody born in 1913 thinking they were born under some specific phase of the moon was wrong. Which moon? In 1913, there were a bunch. People were probably out here looking for love in all the wrong places.

Imagine how much mileage the tinfoil hat crowd should be getting out of the anniversary of the second moon. Instead, they’re too busy waiting for JFK Jr. to come back from the dead and fight Joe Biden in a lightsaber duel or whatever they believe. 

Lastly, the second moon meteors are sometimes called Cyrillids because they appeared on February 9, the feast day of St. Cyril of Alexandria. Ironically, Cyril developed a Paschal table (a table for determining the date of Easter) based on a 19-year lunar cycle. Dude didn’t even know there was more than one Luna.