Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Total Lunar Eclipse

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 4:15 am

Tonight we will experience a total lunar eclipse. Check out the Clark Planetarium’s website for the technical data and times. It’s a total lunar eclipse, even if our mountains might hide the moon for part of the time, it’s guaranteed to be spectacular. Of course, this is Utah. Our sky could be completely encrusted with clouds and the Star Party planned at the Planetarium with be a big disappointment to the Astronomy nerds.

Why dost thou gaze upon the sky?
O that I were yon spangled sphere!
Then every star should be an eye,
To wander o’er thy beauties here. Sir Thomas More (1478 – 1535)

A couple of years ago, we had meteor showers in our sky. It was winter and the showers were only at their best at two in the morning. Mike and I bundled up and drank hot chocolate and kept our eyes peeled for about an hour looking for shooting stars. We saw about two or three of them, but after an hour, I was so cold that I just wanted to go back in. It didn’t matter to me that I had only seen a couple of meteors. I was cold and tired and I wanted to go back to bed.

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape… Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)

The first time I saw a lunar eclipse, we lived at Barrington Park Condominiums. I was excited to see an entire eclipse and had planned for it. The window in my bedroom was the best way to view it. I set myself up on my bed and I sat and I watched. I saw a tiny shadow on the edge of the full moon. I eagerly sat and watched for about an hour, but I must admit that after that, I just wanted to go to sleep. I didn’t care whether I got to see the whole thing or not.

We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds. Anton Chekhov (1860 – 1904), 1897

I didn’t realize how long an eclipse takes. Maybe astronomical pursuits are out of my range of ability. They are sequestered to the evening hours. Maybe Astronomy is for the intellectual who is kept awake by her insights rather than lulled to sleep. I can excel at many things, but staying awake is not one of them. If my eyes automatically open at six in the morning, that means they also automatically close at 10 in the evening. I will leave Astronomy to others and be content to watch stop motion photography.


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