Sackville — Earth and the moon. Gaia and Diana. They are the chocolate and peanut butter of the solar system — the original power couple. But now it looks like this couple may have just become a threesome.
Sackville’s Adam Parker was observing last night’s supermoon eclipse when he noticed something odd. “I was trying to take some photos of the supermoon, when I noticed something in the corner,” Parker said. “When I looked closely, I realized it was a crescent moon in the sky along with the supermoon!”
After he got over the shock, he immediately uploaded the photo and emailed it to NASA scientists. Emily Ericsson, NASA’s Chief Email Technologist, opened the fateful message. “My jaw dropped. I thought, this must be a hoax; there’s only one moon, and we’re NASA so if anyone would have seen this second moon I figured we would.”
The second orbiting body, tentatively dubbed “Moon II” (or, already in some circles “the good one, before it got mainstream”), appears to be composed of much the same substance as the moon (well, the first moon; this reporter is having difficulty adjusting to the new paradigm) but covered in some kind of dark material that lowers its albedo.
Astronomers are at a loss as to how they possibly missed this second moon in all the thousands of years humanity has been observing the skies. Although much remains to be determined, it seems that the emerging scientific consensus is that we didn’t see Moon II because we simply weren’t looking.
“Consider how Moon I dominates the night sky,” said Ericsson. “Once you’ve seen it, it’s only natural to assume it’s the only big, bright thing there. Human beings are naturally lazy, so I suppose we’ve collectively looked up, thought ‘yup, that’s a moon’ and just went on with our lives.”
Given Moon I’s role as a cultural touchstone it is also likely that many popular songs and even historical events will have to be rewritten and revised to accommodate the new discovery. Neil Armstrong is now the first man on A moon. The Man in the Moon himself is now just A Man in A Moon. All we can do is wait to see how the discovery of this little world will change our big one; in the meantime, Parker just hopes his discovery will bring people closer together.
“I mean… there’s 2 moons now, so maybe anything can happen. Jennifer… if you’re reading this… maybe this is a sign you should come home now. I’m so lonely I’m taking pictures of the moon. Well, I mean, a moon. The first one. Not the one I discovered. That’s mine. See? I own a moon now, Jennifer! And your mother said I’d never amount to anything.”
Editor’s note: The Manatee would like to clarify that the discovery of an astronomical object does not mean ownership of that object, and it does not endorse Mr. Parker’s claim to Moon II, or his plan to breed a race of super-men on its surface.