Thanks. I did a little more investigating and found out moonsticks have
only been around for a very short time, since 1997 to be exact. (Since
they're based on slide rule technology, I though they were much older!) Poor
JRRT -- it would have been *extremely* easy to calculate seven or eight
thousand year old moon phases with one of these. Here's the web site --
they're a really neat little tool: http://www.moonstick.com/
From: Douglas A. Anderson [mailto:nodens@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2002 10:49 PM
To: Croft, Janet B
Subject: Myth Soc list query--Moons
>Does anyone know exactly how Tolkien calculated his moon
phases -- from printed ephemerides, or might he have had access to a
Has anyone answered your query yet? (I get the MythSoc list in digest form,
so I'm usually not very prompt.)
To an intereviewer in January 1965, Tolkien said: "The moons, I think
finally, the moons and suns were worked out according to what they were in
1942, actually; you must have some way--I'm not a good enough mathematician
to try and work out what they would have been seven thousand, eight thousand
years ago. As long as they correspond to some real configuration, that's
good enough. Moons are much more tricky to deal with than suns, of course,
but on the whole I don't think the moon is full or rises in the wrong
If I remember correctly, someone (Rhona Beare?) once looked into this and
came to the conclusion that Tolkien used the calendar for 1943.
Hope that helps!