Monday, August 30, 2010

Science Mondays--- directed to watch the moon

Orange Moon....6/27/10

The other day I was directed to the moon rise. Something about Mars and the moon was happening. I was at the place to witness it--- on a hill top in semi-rural PA with a big sky containing no clouds above me. I left my room just after the sun had dipped below the horizon. And gradually day turned into night.

I tried to remember the last time I had been a witness to the transition. Birds turned into bats. Insects grew quiet while a new bunch came out to play. The big dipper stood huge above the retreat center. But no moon.

A flash of orange caught my eye behind some trees and soon I was standing next to another person who had been directed to watch the moon. And yes the moon put on a show, but the Mars thing was happening in the opposite direction. And though I remember being amazed at how bright Venus was in the midst on the setting sun, I knew not to look for the Mars-Spica-Venus show that I just read about at Sky and Telescope. I would say I did catch Jupiter because he was by the moon.

But we were watching a moon that was molten orange. By the time it had cleared the trees, it was that lovely creamy orange I had seen before. The photo above was taken by a Flickr friend of mine back in June. Have you seen a blazing orange moon?

Now I am thinking I want to assign my students to watch the day turn into night, but doubt if many live outside of urban settings. But I am thinking all the same and hope that one way they will witness it happening. and I am being grateful for what particles in our atmosphere (why it is orange?) can do to make for encore to a long quiet evening watching things unfold.

Moon Jazz 1
Moon Jazz 2
Moon Jazz 3
Moon Jazz 4
Moon Jazz 5
Moon Jazz 6
Moon Jazz 7


  1. Sounds like a great night. And it's great to have you back writing non-silent posts.

  2. Robin... thanks for the welcome back

  3. I ADORE this post. I'm a full moon addict, and your friends shot is phenomenal.

    It would be really cool if we could get the whole world to pay attention to the transition. Maybe some of the sourpusses would lighten up and smile!

  4. Snowcatcher... thanks, now I know why folk do wordless Wednesday, you find cool folk along the way.

  5. You made it feel as if I were there watching the transition too. I wish there were fewer city lights here - the moon and the planets are generally visible but not in the same way as dark sky.

  6. Kathryn... Thanks, and may you have a dark sky to enjoy.


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