Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Total lunar eclipse of December 21, 2010 as seen from Dover Delaware. Wikimedia.

At oh-dark-thirty, the Mistress of Sarcasm and I arose and went outside, where a sole streetlight cast its glare.

Up above, the full Moon hung in the sky like the bleary eye of a wino, the dark coppery color of blood. The northern limb of the Moon was still illuminated by the sun, a ghostly sliver. Presently it took on that bizarre coppery glow as the Moon entered its total eclipse phase.

Total lunar eclipses are hardly rare occurrences. Possibly the most dramatic one I recall seeing is the one we viewed from the Boardwalk in Atlantic City in August of 1989. The Mistress’s memories of that event are necessarily vague, but I remember watching that blood-red orb hanging over the Atlantic Ocean toward the east, a moment of unexpected beauty.

But this one was unusual in that it fell coincident with the winter solstice, a synchronicity that last occurred 372 years ago. And so we stood together, the Mistress and I, and watched that copper moon usher in the new season with Orion to keep it company. A fine father-daughter moment, it was... the two of us watching this brief moment in the eternal dance of the Celestial Spheres.


Ole Phat Stu said...

No, 456 years ago if I do the maths right.

Elisson said...

@OPS - Some sources quote the 456 year figure, others 372. Without having done the calculations myself, I will concede that 456 certainly sounds more dramatic. Take your pick.