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MIT student blogger Paul B. '11

Dark Side of the Moon by Paul B. '11

And everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

So in case you didn’t know, there’s a eclipse going on. A total eclipse of the moon, in fact. The last one until 2010.

You should go watch it.

I know I will be.

Really bad photos to follow.

Also, if you realize not only whom this entry’s title references but also why this entry’s subtitle (“And everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon”) is completely inappropriate, I will be very impressed.


Update circa 11:13 PM: As it turns out, it’s actually really really hard to take a good photo of something that’s over 360,000 kilometers away on a good day with your standard digital camera – especially when that thing is, you know, eclipsed.

Therefore I am going to declare all my photos of the eclipse totally unworthy of viewing, and hide them from all of you forevermore. Maybe I’ll feed them to Kerberos, or something.

I did, however, get a fairly decent photo of those people who decided to watch the eclipse with me. My dorm, Simmons, has two fantastic terraces that are open to all residents. Tonight, about thirty of us took advantage of that fact to obtain one of the best vantage points of the eclipse.

So, uh, there you have it. The last total lunar eclipse until 2010.

I’m currently in the middle of writing a HASS paper on the Hippocratic Oath, so I need to go finish that up – but you all can expect an entry on my current classes (which are amazing) in the next few days.

Now go read Jess’s entry on the Class of 2010 Brass Rat, it’s much better than this.

39 responses to “Dark Side of the Moon”

  1. Shubhang says:

    I understand that MIT have several criterias by which they judge an application however I would really like to know how good is a score of 1530/1600 in Physics and Maths Level 1 at MIT, and will it be benefitting my application.
    My score distribution is
    Maths 750
    Physics 780

  2. Rick says:


    Yeah I will see it

  3. Paul says:

    Hi Shubhang, thanks for asking politely – those are strong scores, don’t worry. smile Best of luck to you.

  4. Rick says:

    mmm… I’ve a question: I sent my financial aid forms and all the stuff several days ago, and they aren’t still marked as received. I have sent mails to the financial aid office, but they haven’t answered… yet. Should I wait or fax them again?


  5. Ashwath says:

    Duh… Pink Floyd’s really really cool album. how can one not know that?

  6. Rick says:

    muajaja muajaja first, second and third.

    jeje just kidding

  7. Shubhang says:

    Thanks a lot Paul, I just might be needing it.

  8. Akshay says:

    Hey Paul!
    The title refers to the album by Pink Floyd and the subtitle is inappropriate as the in a lunar eclipse moon is eclipsed by the sun not the sun is eclipsed by the moon.
    I think that would be the answer.
    Is the second part correct?

  9. Paul says:

    That’s completely correct, Akshay. Well done. smile

    I took some pretty bad photos of the eclipse and some semi-decent photos of various Simmons residents watching the eclipse. I’ll add them to the entry shortly.

    Rick – I wouldn’t worry too much about it right now; the Financial Aid office is probably getting a lot of mail at the moment so I imagine they’re still processing things.

  10. José P. says:

    Didn’t notice the Pink Floyd reference, but I do know that a lunar eclipse is when the Earth eclipses the moon.

  11. shubhang says:

    I had taken the January SAT Subject Test Examination however the reports have not yet been processed in the tracker. Should I be worried about this and send another rush report??
    Also would 1530/1600 in Physics and Maths
    Level 1 add anything to my application.
    Pl. reply—anyone.

  12. Tong says:

    I had been staring at it for 20 minutes before coming back to the study and reading this blog.

  13. José P. says:

    Whoa, bad phrasing.

    Let’s look at it as a sandwich between the Sun, the Earth, and the moon, with the Earth being the ham. smile

  14. Akshay says:

    Hurray! That’s correct.
    And I would like to see those photos. So which telescope are you going to use to see the eclipse or is it visible to naked eye?

  15. Laser says:

    Aww Akshay you got to the question right before me :(.

    Anyways, amazing album. Did you know that the operatic singer on Great Gig in the Sky is now suing Pink Floyd for not mentioning her in the liner notes of the original Dark Side of the Moon?

  16. BB says:

    Is it really the last until 2010? I heard that there was going to be another on December 21. Maybe that one’s not a total eclipse… or maybe that was just completely wrong.

  17. Akshay says:

    Hey Laser!
    Yeah the album is really awesome.
    Really!!! I didn’t know that.

  18. Anonymous says:

    while I realize that the first part of the question has been answered (Pink Floyd) the title is inappropriate because the dark side of the moon references the side of the moon which always faces away from the earth not the darkening of the moon during an eclipse. The dark side of the moon plays no part in the eclipse and is thus irrelevant. on a different note I prefer the Wall to Dark side of the moon but that could be because the movie is easily one of the greatest of all time.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm… doing math homework or watching eclipse?

    This sort of thing is why I don’t have good grades.

  20. Paul says:

    shubhang – There’s no need to send another rush report. I would suggest calling the admissions office and confirming they have your scores.

    BB – The other lunar eclipse this year is supposed to be only a partial one.

    Jose – You’re completely right. Obviously, I was sort of in a rush when I read Akshay’s comment. Going to MIT will do that to you…

    Akshay – The eclipse was completely visible to the naked eye, without the need of any special filters or equipment. Although I do have a pretty nice telescope back home, it was a little too large to bring to MIT with me. wink

  21. mouse says:

    well done mate.

  22. Akshay says:

    Hey Paul!
    I was also for a moment thinking that how my answer was correct. But then when you said so I thought when the creator has no problem, why should I be worried.
    And the reply from Jose aka anonymous was much thoughtful and really agree to that.
    So congrats to Jose for the correct answer.

    Well yeah if you have a powerful telescope it would be a bit uneasy to bring to the MIT Campus.

  23. Tanmay says:

    I am inexpressibly disappointed over not getting to see that.

    And oh, Pink Floyd are my favorite; and that “Dark Side of the Moon” reminded me of them. Akshay had already answered the question…good work!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Dark Side of the Moon is amazing. I highly recommend Dub Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd with a reggae twist.

    Hooray for lunar eclipses. With all the hype from news articles, this one better be a good one.

  25. Teresa '11 says:

    Am I the only one who thought Mulan before Pink Floyd?

    Chorus of I’ll Make A Man Out Of You:
    “We must be swift as the coursing river
    With all the force of a great typhoon
    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Mysterious as the dark side of the moon”

  26. asm says:

    YES!! PINK FLOYD!!! And not just Pink Floyd, but Dark Side of the Moon, too? *dies of happiness* I also know that the subtitle comes from the last words from the last song on the album, Eclipse (what else?). Hooray for psychedelic prog rock!

    And while looking at an orange moon is awesome, guess what? There’s a total eclipse of the Sun happening on August 1, 2008. Eclipses are fun!

    @Laser: I think they reached a settlement a few years ago.

  27. Steph says:

    I’m a bit upset that I didn’t get to see the eclipse. I was in such a hurry not to be late for my class that I forgot to look up! Duh… haha

  28. Moon was gorgeous =] Saturn, too! Conveniently located. I had my telescope set up outside and I was watching a live image broadcasting from Argentina for when I needed a hot chocolate/warm up break =]

  29. mighty says:

    you might be shocked to know that i did indeed know that the lunar eclipse was happening and i even had some sort of idea as to what it was.

    but the blog certainly was entertaining. i echo mouse when i say: well done mate.

  30. Scott '10 says:

    I slept through it!

  31. Shruthi says:

    When you said pictures, I thought they would be pics of the eclipse you know? :D

    P.S – Are you planning to post any soon? smile

  32. Paul says:

    Shruthi – Turns out that taking photos of an eclipse is very very difficult with a handheld camera. smile

    Here’s a photo taken by one of MIT’s student-photographers; it also appeared on the front page of our campus newspaper, The Tech:

  33. Rick says:

    Thank you very much Paul!

    P.D. The eclipse was awesome

  34. mithopeful says:

    I was at MIT to see the eclipse! It was so cool. And you could see Saturn too (with a telescope of course). It was very cold, but very cool.

  35. Lainers says:

    Yes! Amazing eclipse. My mom and I were driving east for 20 minutes at just the right time and got to see the lit wedge slowly shrinking. We kept calling my sister, but apparently it was cloudy at our house and there were some very loud, indignant conversations along the lines of, “What do you mean you can’t find the moon!?” It cleared up when we got home and she did get to see it, though.

    Best to all.

  36. Anonymous says:

    If mithopeful said “It was very cool, but very cool” I could have said that is the sort of bad pun I would have used…
    Eclipse was really cool, though.

  37. Anonymous says:

    That was a wonderfull post!
    Could you please tell me the tentative dates by which the RA’s can hear from the MIT admissions office?
    Thank you!