Yes, I stayed up most of the night to watch the super blood moon total lunar eclipse. It began about 1 in the morning here in southern England with a bit of red on the top curve and then I could see it from a window. About 2.30 I had to go out onto the street to see it. At that point, I hauled my husband out of bed to join me. (He did ask me in advance to do that if it looked like it was going to be exciting).
The photos I took weren’t very good, which wasn’t unexpected. This is the first one. But what’s going on here? There’s the moon, just before 1 am, but when I checked what I’d shot, there was this extra, purple planet underneath. I took another shot.
It had shifted its position a bit, but there was the ghostly purple planet again. You’ll see in this second picture that the moon has a redder glow around it.
Had I snapped a new and purple planet, by accident? Was I soon to be in receipt of a Nobel Prize and would my discovery be known hereafter as Planet Ann? (I would protest strongly any latinisation to Planet Annus).
About 1.30 am I took the third shot. As you can see in this lovely Wuthering-Heights-style shot, there’s a flattening to the circle – top left – and a distinct red line now rings the moon.
I watched the eclipse through binoculars. As it approached totality, the top half seemed to be covered in a grey-red mist, there was a yellow-gold ring almost surrounding it and the bottom bit was white (the diamond of the diamond ring stage of an eclipse when it’s almost total but not quite). The yellow ring might have been an optical illusion created by the binoculars.
The moon spun upon a pristine star-peppered sky. I felt the depth of the sky rather than saw it and as always, when staring out at the cosmos, longed to be able to walk it, walk its mysteries. Alas, becoming a cosmonaut is no longer an option for me. Well, it never was – I’m not tall enough to reach the pedals on space rockets.
Why do we spend obscene amounts of money developing more and more sophisticated ways of killing each other over what amount to differences of opinion, when we could use that money to find ways of going out into the universe? Why are we not all desperate to walk out into the biggest adventure we could ever have waiting for us on our very doorstep?
When totality arrived, I was astonished. If I hadn’t known about the eclipse I’d have been alarmed at the strange rust-red globe in the sky. I was mesmerised. I couldn’t stop staring. Two people passed by with a grinning greeting.
“Good morning!” It was the man, who was lean sporting a blood red Mohican.
His buxom woman had long, wild, blood-red hair and seemed not to be wearing anything much beneath a thigh-length cardigan. It was like we were sharing something wonderful, and we were, though I suspect they had a different take from me, on wonderful. I reckon there’d have been a good many moon ceremonies taking place last night.
I am full of wonder for our wonderful universe. To the lunar expert scientist on television yesterday, whining that nothing extraordinary or rare was going to happen, that it was all hype, the moon wouldn’t be enormous (that was true) and a watery pink rather than red (not true): yah, boo and sucks to you! You’ve lost your wonderment, mate!
Then, I am a hare. And any moon will do for staring purposes. Even ghostly purple ones.
Did you walk the cosmos last night? I’d like to know.