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Mirror-Magnified Moonlight
image A couple out in Arizona, Richard and Monica Chapin, have built a moonlight magnifier (or, as they call it, an "interstellar light collector"). Exposure to concentrated lunar rays, they claim, can have all kinds of positive medical benefits. They hope it may even heal cancer. It cost them over $2 million to build the thing. According to their website, starlightuses.com, here's how the machine works:
The Interstellar Light Collector rotates a full 360 degrees, and can be aligned with the position of the moon to 1/10,000 of an inch in accuracy. With a collection surface of 3,000 square feet, the collected light can be focused into an area as large as 10 by ten feet or as small as 1mm that can pulsated or applied as a laser and transmitted directly into the accompanying research facility.
The Arizona Republic recently published an article about this device. They describe in a bit more detail exactly what happens during a therapeutic session:
Visitors receive "moonstones," or rocks purified by sunlight, before they enter the basking zone in twos and threes. They are instructed to soak them with lunar rays for a personally sanctifying energy.
The Chapins don't charge money for this, but they do encourage visitors to make $10 donations and are seeking investors.

I'm willing to accept that light therapy has positive benefits, but I'm skeptical that moonlight has healing powers any different or greater than those of sunlight. Why would it, since it's just reflected sunlight? The Chapins claim that moonlight can't burn us like sunlight (right, because it's a lot less bright) and that moonlight "presents a distinctive spectrum composed of more reds and yellows, and possesses a different frequency than sunlight. This specific light spectrum has never been artificially duplicated." They admit that the healing benefits of moonlight have never been scientifically tested, but they're gathering anecdotal evidence to build their case.

I actually think it would be kind of cool to experience this thing. Would it be possible to get a moon tan? But I wouldn't look on it as anything more than an entertaining novelty, and I wouldn't expect any medical benefits from it beyond those gained from light therapy in general.
Categories: Health/Medicine
Posted by The Curator on Sat May 12, 2007
Any fans of the Anime; Dragon Ball, would know this may be a bad thing wink
Posted by Annon'  on  Sat May 12, 2007  at  12:55 PM
It must have been Moonglow
Way up in the blue.
It must have been Moonglow
That led me straight to you.
Posted by Andy  in  Brooklyn  on  Sat May 12, 2007  at  02:33 PM
It all sounds rather romantic and although my pagan nature wants to say its a wonderful idea for Gods know what - I'm giggling now and I think I'd rather just sit on my roof tonight and save myself the trip smile
Posted by Jean  in  SJNB Canada  on  Sat May 12, 2007  at  02:37 PM
Well, moonlight would have a different set of wavelengths than would sunlight, since the moon would be absorbing some of the wavelengths from the sunlight as the light hits the lunar surface. I don't think that it would have any wavelengths that sunlight didn't have, but it would not have certain ones that sunlight did.

What this would mean as far as health, I don't really know. I suppose it would have less of the high-energy wavelengths, so it would be less damaging to skin than is sunlight. On the other hand, it probably wouldn't be as good as sunlight is for things like vitamin D.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sat May 12, 2007  at  06:25 PM
OK, I live in Tucson and have for decades. None of the local papers have reported on this as far as I know. Nor any of the local TV or radio stations. I have a few comments: 1) Why rotate a ful 360 degrees? It isn't needed to track the Moon. 2) Why track the Moon to 1/10,000th of an inch? Again, not needed. 3)Unless they are beaming the light into a processing facility, which destroys the "naturalness" of the Moonlight, a simple mirror cannot pulse the light nor turn it into a laser. 4) They mention using light from some of the brighter stars, yeah right! Stars provide so little light that it takes astronomers minutes to collect enough light to even show up on the most sensitive of collection devices. Maybe some of the alternative healing activists believe in this, but I doubt anyone with any training in astronomy, physics, or science in general does. Come to Tucson and see some much better things and spend your money in a wiser fashion.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sat May 12, 2007  at  07:03 PM
Mr. Cole
In Reply to your post:
1) 360 degrees is indeed not needed, but would only be reasonable to have it 360 then spending extra money to make it not 360. Besides, the moon alters it pathway in the skies during seasons.
2) The shortest point between 2 spots is a stright line. Thus, the rays will be more concentrated the more direct it is.

It may be a silly thing, but if you're gonna do something, may as well do it right.
Posted by DJ_Canada  in  Edmonton, Alberta, Canada  on  Sat May 12, 2007  at  11:12 PM
DJ, yes light would travel in a straight line after bouncing off the mirrors. But the curved shape of the device means that each mirror sends light in a different direction. Perhaps each mirror is movable, which would allow some control over the area that could be lit up but a laser cannot be made from one or more mirrors alone. And the path of the Moon is variable only within a small area, a narrow band. There is no reason to have the device point outside that band.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sun May 13, 2007  at  01:40 AM
If all the little mirrors are adjustable to change the focus from 10 x 10 feet to 1mm, as is quoted, then wouldn't twitching the mirrors make a "pulsing" effect, at least visually? Like ripples in a lighted swimming pool. Also, perhaps they made it adjustable 360 degrees as a prototype, and intend to make portable versions to take to conferences? That would make set-up easier, certainly.
Posted by Yvonne  in  WY  on  Sun May 13, 2007  at  01:52 PM
Personally, I'd be interested to try this whole thing out. Not that I have any belief in mysterious healing powers of moonlight, but just to see how they have the whole thing set up.

One thing, though: "the collected light can be. . .applied as a laser and transmitted directly into the accompanying research facility". You simply can't do that with a parabolic reflector like that. It won't produce a coherent beam. I suppose that they could focus the beams onto some sort of a condenser lens, and that would direct the beams in a reasonably straight line. But a laser?
Posted by Accipiter  on  Mon May 14, 2007  at  05:10 PM
I'm in constant pain...would like to try this therapy. need an address...thankyou.
Posted by belladonnasmoon  in  oceano calif  on  Wed Nov 14, 2007  at  09:50 AM
I have a strong universeity science background, and went to the ILA moonlight "show" to be a lookie-loo. I have long had problems falling asleep and staying asleep (I have been a light sleeper since I was young), and I have sufferened from Fibromalgia type symptoms, plus I have a facial nerve disorder. I felt nothing the first ngiht, though I found the evening to be really nice and peaceful. The desert is a gorgeous place at night; then when you surround yourself with manypeople who, for the most part, are all positive energy type people...well, it's calming and soothing. The first exposure charged me up - I was wide awake and alert at midnight! But, then the following night, I slept like a baby. At that time, I had no clue that moonlight could do that - I didn't hear anyone talk about better sleep - so no, it was not self-induced. Bottom line is that I kept going back, and was finally encouraged by my girlfriend to "fess up" to the ILA secretary about my medical situation. ILA put me in the "wellness group", where we get a few extra minutes of exposure, once a month. The moonlight "can" do for some people what medicine, exercise, and eating right cannot. it gave me the edge to feel up to doing things I had not been able to in many years. Since I began with ILA, about 7 months ago, I have done my own background check on lunar therapy and how the moon increases ocean plant growth, breeding cycles of most animals and fish, how it affects agricultutal production, and now how it "resets our own time clocks". I even measured the pH of the water I took into the moonlight - it shifted and became more alkaline...and yes, the pH strips I used are top quality medical grade - we have repeated the test a fw times, and each time, the water changes (I can even taste the difference. So, I concur with the owner, Richard Chapin, and all kinds of research folks, if we are comprised of mainly water, then perhaps the moonlight does in fact "alter" the hamn body in some way. Oh, BTW, the redness in my knuckes (from arthritis) have nearly gone away and my fingers hurt less....and the tendons in my heels rarely hurt anymore. This science-based 46 year old (who use to teach at a major research university) is now a believer. Part of me doesn't even care why it works, just that is does.
Posted by Shana  in  Tucson  on  Fri Nov 30, 2007  at  12:12 PM
I should have mentioned that you all just need to see the ILA collector for yourselves. It's design is remarkable. Yes, each of the 84 mirrors rotate, and then the entire panel can rotate as needed. It is adjusted many times during the night, and how they move it changes with the seasons. At times, those of us being exposed have to move as well; sometimes as much as every three minutes as the moon moves quickly. No, it's not a laser (LOL) - it gathers the light, concentrates it, and diffuses it back in a small generallised area. The parabolic dish people stand in front of, bounces the light back to us. These are expensive mirrors made by professionals who make optic mirrors. I have awful eyes, but it's bright enough to read by. Chapin is no scientific geek, and trust me he doesn't seem like the spiritualist type either; he does have a open and inquiring mind, and he enjoys learning. When you see someone one way for a long time, and months later they are healed (like the little boy who couldn't run because his lungs were so bad), and then you see him racing about, not coughing...and you see his parents' joyful expressions..it gives you a different persepctive. Even if you can't get a card to get into the moonlight (so many people ask to do it), maybe you can ask just to come out and see it, and talk to people. The drive is worth it, and all it cots you is some gas. The Chapins are charitable people; this was a project built out of love, and in memory of someone they cared about who died of pancreatic cancer; she lived two years with it, but not long enough to see the collector built. I am thinking that there are few people who would waste $2M of their own money to build something they don't think has a chance of doing some positive things. Some media wants to twist the story about it, while some report the facts. Each of you reading this should see it, if you are curious enough that is, and make up your own mind. 95% of the people I have met out there are from from being what some may call "flaky."
Posted by Shana  in  Tucson  on  Fri Nov 30, 2007  at  12:33 PM
Well Moonlight is like anything in nature it is required. Without the moonlight we wouldn't have tidal flows. Some flowers only bloom in moonlight. Animals and Humans alike require lunar glow to stay on target.etc etc. Being the indoor society we are it is not a surprise people feel different after some moonlight. But honestly I think you could gt the same effect sleeping under the stars and moon without mirrors. A night under the Arizona sky will make any one feel different. It is a beautiful place to gaze at the stars. There's just somethign different about Arizona...to bad the summers are so hot...lol
Posted by carlie  in  idaho  on  Thu Dec 06, 2007  at  09:43 PM
Would you please forward the location of the light collecter.My e-mail is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Posted by dennis a starner  in  calgary alberta canada  on  Tue Dec 11, 2007  at  04:37 PM
Are they scheduled for lunar therapy sessions over the next few days (12/21-22-23/07) as the moon is full. My wife wants to try this as she's dealing with difficult health issues. If anyone knows please let me know as we will drive down today from Phoenix.
thanks,
Bill
Posted by Bill  in  phoenix  on  Sat Dec 22, 2007  at  03:10 PM
Hi Guys..

I'm a recent graduate in physics from the oxford university in the uk, and I'd like to comment a little about this moon business.

When the earth was created as a chunk of the sun, and the moon was created as a spare chunk, is it as if we had this formula

sun = smaller sun plus planets plus their moons

in the particular case of our beloved earth, the reduced formula could go like this

sun = smaller sun plus earth plus moon

with an IMPORTANT by-product

WATER

please allow this pseudo equations for the sake of argument.

the relationship between the moon and our water, is a more intimate one than just a tidal/gravitational one.

i think there is an inherent coupling in the concepts of moon surface, light from the sun, reflected/refracted/absorbed and re-emitted light from the moon, and our water.

we are also made of this water

moonlight has been proven (check robert downs investigation on crystals) to clear and change properties of crystals

robert down's work is being used for the mars investigations coming up by the nasa. he's a well recognised university researcher

our bones (calcium), our liquids and many of our tissues are arranged in crystalline structures throughout.

clearly, health effects are likely to be real with this thing.

being a skeptic is over rated, and fashionable.

sometimes, a little faith is needed to see things that are right in front of you. after you see them, you can throw away the faith
Posted by fisherums  in  malaga, spain  on  Thu Jun 12, 2008  at  10:38 AM
In response to : fisherums in malaga, spain on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 06:38 AM. Your comments are well noted. I posted in Nov of 07 and it is now June of 08. A world renowned water crystal researcher from Japan noted major changes in the moonlight exposed water. Seed germination rates have improved, and the university researcher who did the initial experiment hopes to set up an official reasearch project in the future (one that will pass top skectical minds). NO, I don't work for ILA...I am just a therapy guest (who happens to have a B.S. in agriculture so my Dad always planted according to the moon). My best friend has been going with me and her skin tags have fallen off (this is not unusual as others have noted same thing). My joints continued to be o.k. even through a stressful move that tooks weeks of OT after work (and long, long days and nights); normally my body would not bounce back. I missed one session and some swelling and pain returned. Thankfully I got into the last moonlight therapy session before ILA breaks for monsoon weather (too many clouds to make sure people can get in). days later, I am slowly getting better. My science side that is usually skeptical really doesn't care too much anymore why it works. I rarely stick to anything my doctor tells me I should, but this therapy is easy,and it is beneficial to me. Besides all that, I meet really nice and amazing people. It is a few hours in the evening listening to people who are positive and full of energy. I think this has something ot do with a better feeling body - so much negativity we all have to deal with. It is worth the $20 donation once a month. The Chapins and their lead assistant Patty, and Mike (he takes people up in the sissor lift) are all very welcoming. Just don't bring your pets, and remember to speak in hushed tones when you are there. Worth the trip out into the desert. One more thing....its a soft light but it is bright enough to read by. The bats come out and fly in and out of it as there are more insects in the light that is concentrated and directed onto you. In early June we saw more than 5 bats on one small area - coming and going for over a half hour. SO, that means the insects sense the extra light and are drawn in as well. It is not like sitting out in the moonlight...but that is probably helpful also - many tout that it resets the body's clock. I hope this info is helpful to some of you reading this blog. Not a hoax, but it is under careful consideration by many. I have no doubt there will be more built in the future so more people can get to one. There have been many people suffering from various disorders and diseases who have benefitted. Otherwise I wouldn't see so many of them returning time and time again.
Posted by Shana  on  Wed Jun 25, 2008  at  07:47 PM
Well Moonlight is like anything in nature it is required. Without the moonlight we wouldn't have tidal flows.


Well, actually we would. The tides are caused by the moon's gravity, not the light reflected from it.

Which is why the tide won't be affected by cloud cover etc.
Posted by feotu  on  Sun Sep 26, 2010  at  03:34 AM
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