Super moon wows weekend viewers

Super moon wows weekend viewers

As forecast in my previous post, the weather in the Chicago area  was not conducive to skywatching for the full moon on Saturday night. The  storms were so bad Taste of Chicago was closed  for safety reasons.

However, those  in more favorable locations were  happy to share  their observations and photos. You can see some fine examples at  Space.com. And, here's  more from the Chicago Tribune.

Sunday was sparkling and clear. Maybe a little cool, but warmer in the sun.  It was one of those days that approaches perfection---like  summer condensed to a day.  And Sunday night,  the sight of the  just-past -full moon and passing clouds.

I wrote this poem---

fireflies in the garden

dancing with the moon

moon in the garden

dancing with the fireflies

 

Why such a big deal about the moon? None of this is new, and yet, if stories of an enormous moon inspire people to  look up in wonder, maybe it is big news.

In a cosmic sense, maybe we are but a weekend, summer in a day, fireflies dancing with the moon....

On July 16, it will be 45 years since the launch of the first mission to the moon. Neil Armstrong became the first human to step onto the lunar surface  on July 20, 1969  at 4:17 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.  According to the moon phase calculator in the Old  Farmers' Almanac, that night the moon was a waxing crescent, 6 days old, 32% illuminated.

The moon has been mapped and  named. Mountains and craters and seas. The Sea of Tranquility was where Apollo 11 landed. The iconic bootprints are still visible with a telescope, and inscribed in our collective imagination.  This step was for all mankind. Have we forgotten?  Has the moon gone out of focus, become a hazy blur?

What is the moon? The moon is  our nearest companion in the night sky. It is  a mirror, a screen on which we project our dreams. It's a peeking eye, a pill for melancholy, a light  for love.  It inspires art and scientific inquiry, poetry, photography and music.

The full moon is a curse for werewolves. The new moon is sacred to Islam. The changing moon is a reminder of Buddhist teachings.

The moon has been an omen, a goddess, a calendar, a guide.  It is still a mystery, and the first step beyond.

 

 

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Comments

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  • Wonder-full, to break the word down to its origins. Thank you for reminding me about the nights I first looked up at the moon during Apollo 11 -- being a tiny kid at the time -- and gazed in wonder at the markings on the moon, no longer just the solid crescent of my drawings. So long ago, but your writing brings it back vividly!

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    May you never lose your sense of wonder. Thanks for reading!

  • Nothing as intoxicating as a clear night and a lot of moonshine.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Cheers, AW!

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