That Moon!

20180719_203824There are a handful of movies that my family has watched repeatedly to the point of being able to recite the entire script.  One of them is “Moonstruck” starring Olympia Dukakis and Cher.  A Greek and an Armenian playing Italians?  It’s okay, Armenians and Italians played Greeks in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” so it balances out.

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It may be faint, but the ring is there!  Look midway between the moon and the edges of the picture.

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Every so often when a particularly spectacular view of the moon is out, we will jokingly call it “Cosmo’s moon”, which is a reference to a scene in the movie.  This last weekend offered us not one, but TWO spectacular views.  We were in Southern California to attend the 90th (wow!!) birthday party for the Old Man’s godmother.  She is as sharp and as funny as ever!  While we were there circumstances aligned just right (or was it the stars??) that we happened to be out to see these views.

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Getting closer to the total eclipse.  The red was already visible at this point.

The first came on Saturday night.  We were getting ready to pile back into the car after dinner when my youngest pointed out that the moon had a ring around it (he was very adamant that we all give him credit for seeing it, so, okay).  We all looked up to see, and what do you know, there it was!  These rings are caused by the moon’s light passing through ice crystals in the atmosphere.  Even with building lights nearby making it harder to see, the ring was clearly visible to us.

20190120_203338The next night we were returning home from the party on the looooooooooooonnnnnnnnnggggg, exciting (not in any way shape or form), section of Highway 99 going through the South Valley.  Seriously, the most boring stretch of road anywhere.  As we drove along I happened to look out the window (people really need to do this more often) and noticed that the moon had a chunk missing.  That’s when I remembered that there was supposed to be a unique lunar eclipse that night.

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Almost no direct light left.

We watched as the moon’s light shifted more and more to the edge.  It was sometimes blurred by the wisps of clouds that threatened to obscure the whole view.  At one point I asked the Old Man to pull over at a rest stop so I could make an attempt to capture some pictures, where I promptly got bit by something hiding in the grass (just me, no one else as usual).  We were not the only ones who took the opportunity to get a better view as other vehicles pulled in to the parking lot.  I got a few pics, but it was cold and getting late, so back to the car we went.

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Yes, it’s grainy.  Let’s see you try from a moving car!! 😉

Eventually the red moon that everyone calls a “blood moon” was visible.  Just so you know, it’s really hard to take a picture from a moving car of a dark object high up in the sky with a three year old cell phone.  We were just entering a stretch of darker highway which would have at least given me a chance to get a better picture when the cloud cover finally obscured the whole view.  Figures.  Oh well, we made it home safe and got to see the sight with our own eyes.  I think that makes it okay.

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The last picture I could get before we entered cloud covered skies.  Thankfully the rain fell before we got to where it fell, and then waited until after we were home to dump some more!
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