Posted by: bwoof | April 4, 2015

A lunar eclipse to start the day

lunareclipseLooking up to the night sky is just what I do…all the time. It’s the left-over from childhood memories when my grandfather’s telescope would come out and we’d search the darkness for light from planets, satellites, The Milky Way, and (my favourite), the northern lights.

This month I see Venus bright in the west at dusk; Mars sits below and Jupiter chases from the south-east high sky. In between I see Orion and then the moon goes through its phases. Yes, I always look up at night.

So, it was a big surprise this morning when at pre-sunrise-dawn I looked west and saw a full lunar eclipse in progress. A quick drive to a high spot in the country offered a front-row seat and I watched until the partially eclipsed moon settled below the horizon. I had to watch the rest online from a site in California — the three hour time lag meant the west-coast folks got to see the entire show in darkness before the moon set. Incredible, moving and humbling.

I learned:

  • A lunar eclipse can only happen with a full moon
  • Unlike solar eclipses which can be ‘chased’ across time zones, today’s lunar eclipse happened in live time. This explains why we Ontarians see the same moon and the same shadows at precisely the same time as my relatives in BC. Of course, they were in darkness while I had the rising sun at my back.
  • This lunar eclipse was the shortest of the century, lasting only a few minutes of totality
  • ‘Blood moon’ means that during totality, the moon glows red. Indeed, that’s what I saw!

Grateful for:

  • YanceyVanishingGraceA surprise in the morning — a gentle reminder that on Easter weekend there is something to count on even when I don’t expect it
  • The ‘wake’ last night where I met so many young artists, pilgrims and activists in Hamilton. Philip Yancey‘s new book, Vanishing Grace, tells me these three types of people are the ones we need most. I agree.
  • Shouldice recovery plan — it’s working and my in-house patient is doing very well

Curious about:

  • MoMA and the art Jonny saw there. I didn’t know Van Gogh’s Starry Night is there. Wondering what other famous pieces I could see once I plan a NYC trip…soon I hope.





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