Smart or not, I went outside and stood in the cold long enough to grab a couple pictures of the lunar eclipse. My Nikon VR (vibration reduction) lens did pretty good. I was too cold and lazy to bother with setting up a tripod, but I actually managed to get a picture with a 1.5 sec exposure time where the stars did not look like snakes of light from camera movement.
The moon looks red because of the light passing through the earth’s atmosphere. If you missed this eclipse, not a big deal, there will be another one in 2010.
For some reason, I love watching the moon. It just seems powerful. No worries, even though I’ve been to Stonehenge, I’m not a Druid, and I haven’t offered it any blood as of this writing.
Most people do not realize that earth is unique among almost all of the planets that we know about because of the size of our moon relative to earth. No other planet was lucky enough to end up with a satellite of such size and similar mass. What that means is that the moon is in a sort of tug-of-war with the sun over earth, it keeps earth from wobbling in orbit too much, and there are even cool side effects like tides and weather patterns. In short, life would suck without the moon.
Interesting as well, is how much the full moon affects animals (people included). For centuries, almanacs have counseled fisherman around the phase of the moon. Hunters can tell you first hand how much more activity there is on a day/night of a full moon. Deer and other animals become restless, as do people. There is more crime on a full moon, even though it is not officially accepted, and many cities (mine included) actually schedule more officers on duty for full moon cycles. Anyone that works in a big city ER will tell you the impact that the moon has on their shift as well.
I actually keep an indicator here on my laptop that shows the phase of the moon….and I’m almost embarrassed to admit, but I use it to plan my ramblings downtown. There is sure to be better craic on a full moon, more people dancing, and more bang for your going-out buck.
If this link works right, it should show the current phase of the moon out there. If it looks full and is near the weekend, get out of the house – adventure is waiting!
Image courtesy of the US Naval Observatory
Tags: Greg Rodgers, Kentucky, lunar eclipse, moon, USA