So last night was a Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse! Super Rare! or a Super Moon Lunar Eclipse! depending on which headline you read. But they all implored us to Go out and see it now because something like this won’t happen again in 18 years! And it was pretty for those whom the weather cooperated. I saw pictures all over the internet from weather stations and observatories and even back yard enthusiasts. I took a look from my front porch, saw the low clouds and walked back inside. Such is life.
But that’s okay. Lunar eclipses aren’t really all that rare. They happen quite often in fact. And they are pretty neat to see. A blood moon is basically a red moon, and that’s just how we see the sun’s light reflected on a lunar eclipse. Nothing to see here, folks, move a long. A super moon is really just the moon on its closest orbit to the Earth. Happens all the time. Again, nothing to see here… keep moving.
This reminds me of when I lived in Mississippi and we had a “super rare” lunar eclipse on New Year’s Eve, which also coincided with a Blue Moon. So it was New Year’s Eve, a Blue Moon, and a Lunar Eclipse. We wouldn’t have been able to see it in Mississippi but that’s beside the point. Even if it were visible in our part of the world, we wouldn’t have been able to see it because we had cloudy skies that night too and and freaking tornado sirens blasting all over the place. >_< I remember it well. I was huddled in the hallway (the only place in our small house without windows) and my German roommate was standing out on the porch peering into the darkness. I was all, “Would you please come inside???”
To which she replied, “No, I want to see what’s going on.”
And I answered (nearly hysterical at this point), “No, you really don’t. Please, come inside.” How do you explain a tornado to someone who’s never seen a tornado?
You show them this:
someone filming a tornado. Note: please don’t try this at home.
After all, tornadoes, from what I understand, aren’t that common in her part of Germany so she had no idea what could happen to her if she got caught in one. They’re par for the course in the South which is one of the many reasons why I hightailed it out of there as soon as I could. I’m not fond of them. I don’t like hiding from them, and I don’t like being afraid of when the next one is going to strike..
But anyway, I was talking about lunar eclipses and the like. I think they’re beautiful. I love looking at pictures of them that people have taken. Just browsing through Google images brings up hundreds of lovely pictures… some posted days before the actual event. ^_^ Anyway, it’s not that I don’t have a childlike sense of wonder about the workings of the universe. I do. But eclipses are so… mundane. They happen all of the time. They’re basically one astrological body moving between the orbit of another astrological body, and while the result is beautiful to look at, the event itself is not “rare”. You can set your clock by the when and where these things will happen. Rare would be the asteroid that gets knocked out of the asteroid belt and comes plummeting towards us to wipe out all living things on Earth and breaks up in the atmosphere to rain down on us in a fiery shower of death OR misses us by a thin margin but leaves a spectacular plume of stardust in the sky. Now that I’ll leave my house and watch (either to see the end of it all or the spectacular plume of stardust).
Lunar eclipses? Meteor showers… other stuff like that. If I’m out an about and I happen to see it, I’ll stop and admire the beauty, but I’m not going to go out of my way to watch it. Because, for me, being caught by the spectacle is part of the awe, going to seek it ruins the beauty. It’s the same reason I don’t go hunting butterflies or birds, because to come upon the beauty of nature organically is what helps me keep my childlike sense of wonder in the mundane. Happening upon kittens in play (or being sent a kitten video randomly) is way more fun than seeking out kitten videos. For me. Your mileage may vary. So if I were driving last night and happened to see the lunar eclipse in all its glory, I would have been awed and amazed. If I walked out of my house to watch it, the wonder wouldn’t have been as great. I hope that makes sense.