Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In Which We Observe the Lunar Eclipse and Solstice

Yes, I woke myself up at 12:57 a.m. this morning to go outside and watch the lunar eclipse for a bit. The history geek in me was too excited at the idea that the last time the solstice and a lunar eclipse occurred on the same day was Dec. 21, 1638. Which led me to start pondering, whilst standing outside in the dark in my bathrobe, whether some other middle-aged spinster lady had gone outside her Colonial home to watch that 1638 eclipse.  Which got me to thinking about what my life would have been like in 1638 (spinster lady with animals? Hmm, probably either a drudge in my married sisters' homes or burned at the stake as a witch; neither particularly pleasant). Which then, of course, kept me awake after Pupgirl and I went back in (Mr. Big slept very deeply through the whole thing), wondering if I should start practicing my New Year's resolutions today, as it is solstice and another new year's day.

The night sky was covered by high but fairly thick clouds, so the moon was not easy to see as it kept swimming behind the scudding clouds. It was approximately one-third covered by the earth's shadow when I sat outside, and sadly my binoculars are not powerful enough to have helped with visibility. The moon was noticeably orange when I went out the second time after having retrieved said useless binocs, which was quite thrilling. It was a lovely event to have witnessed.

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