Superdupermoon

If you are reading this in the US, then you have probably been bombarded with overwrought moon-related informational detritus over the past few days due to the simultaneous occurrence of (1) a total lunar eclipse (“blood moon”); (2) the absurdly-named “supermoon”, meaning that a full moon coincides with the moon’s monthly closest approach to Earth; and (3) a so-called “blue moon”, which — though there are varying definitions — is simply the second full moon in a calendar month.

Individually, these events are not rare and carry pretty much zero scientific significance. But when they all happen at the same time then….. they still carry pretty much zero scientific significance. However, NASA and similar space-related organizations love them because it’s easy to get the news and social media all wound up so that everyone is suddenly interested in astronomy and agrees that those organizations need funding increases.

And when I say “wound up”, I mean “wound up”. My friend Michelle Thaller is a NASA spokesperson and frequent (and very ebullient) astronomy talking head on the Discovery Channel and news programs, and she reports with amazement and exhaustion that she did seventy interviews in the 24 hours leading up to the eclipse. I will have to ask her how that is even physically possible.

Totality began at 3 AM in Hawaii, and skies were clear, so we set the alarm to wake us up in the middle of the night and get this picture:

 

Lunar Eclipse 2018-021

Feel free to insert your own lame werewolf joke here.

It was a spectacular sight, nestled in a crystalline sky where, unlike during non-eclipse times, the disk of the full moon did not wash out the many, many stars. We oohed and aahed in genuine delight.  Our oohs and aahs, however, were perhaps a little on the loud side, as a few moments later our next door neighbor’s window opened and he reminded us with understandable peevishness that did we realize it was 3 AM, fer chrissake? Oops… many apologies. I will have to ply him and his wife with malasadas later as a peace offering.

 

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Categories: Hawaii | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Superdupermoon

  1. Thaller, Michelle Lynn. (HQ-DO000)

    In the end, it was 76 interviews. There were three of us, so we could run to the bathroom and stuff like that. Whew! I’ll get some cosmology slides together for you.

    From: Rich and Alice Go Globetrotting
    Reply-To: Rich and Alice Go Globetrotting
    Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 12:59 PM
    To: “THALLER, MICHELLE LYNN. (GSFC-6000)”
    Subject: [New post] Superdupermoon

    richandalice posted: “If you are reading this in the US, then you have probably been bombarded with overwrought moon-related informational detritus over the past few days due to the simultaneous occurrence of (1) a total lunar eclipse (“blood moon”); (2) the absurdly-named “su”

  2. Michie Bissell

    How fortunate that you were so far west! It’s beautiful!
    Our moon was so wonderful, but not blood.😞

  3. Those images are amazing. I wanted to see it but the clouds were too thick

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