Wednesday, December 22, 2010

...and Wednesday...

The lunar eclipse was impressive. We had excellent viewing conditions here, clear and still and not too cold. Not feeling I could stay up most of the night and still go to work the next day, I went to bed early - around 7 pm - and got up again a bit after midnight. When I went outside to look, a big chunk of the moon was already dark, so I gathered my stuff together and settled in a lawn chair next to the truck, where I could lean back against it. After a couple of attempts at photography (small blurred spots) I gave it up and just enjoyed watching the show with binoculars and naked eyes, occasionally going back inside to warm up. Although there was a reddish tinge to the disk during totality, I reminded me more of a tarnished silver coin - base silver, perhaps, with a bit of copper in it. The most exciting moment was when the moon finally began to emerge from the earth's shadow again: first a faint brightening along one edge, then a perceptible silver rim, and at last a bright and slowly growing silver crescent - half a month's phases in an hour. I finally got to be again around three, and slept with the curtains open and the silver moonlight streaming in.

Before the eclipse, I also held a private solstice celebration - but that's a story for another day.

Today's photo: St. Lythan's Burial Chamber in south Wales.

St Lythan's burial chamber


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