Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blood Moon...I live through a Brother's Grimm Adventure

Hello and happy stargazing. On the morning of August 28, 2007, I was up at 4:30 AM through 5:30 AM to watch the Total Lunar Eclipse.

It was beautiful. When we first went out, about half of it was just black while the rest was shining white. About thirty minutes later, however, the moon turned red, as you can see in the picture. The evening was very pleasant. There was a cool wind blowing, hardly anybody else in the world seemed to be awake, except for a few cars that went by and a cat, bathed in moonlight, that walked by our house, and when I called it, it fell over on its back and started rolling around on the sidewalk.
The stars were incredibly clear; I remember a tiny cluster of about five or six that seemed to be very far away. The moon had moved nearly across the whole sky since I had seen it. I decided to research the eclipse a little so I could write a blog entry about it. I found out that the moon glowed red because of ash in the atmosphere from bushfires and volcanoes as well as dust particles. This contributed to the depth of color. I also found out that if Mt St Helens erupts again, the moon will turn purple. Would it not be fun to see a purple moon?
I found all of that out from an article I read online. I don't know who wrote it, but the news editor of Sky and Space magazine had made some comments about the eclipse, which is most of what I have just told you.
I also found out (though not all from the same article) that a total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon moves into the shadow of Earth. Or, to put it in a slightly more complicated manner, total lunar eclipses occur when the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon are all in alignment and the Moon travels into the broad cone of shadow cast by the Earth.

If you are wondering about the title of this entry, for those of you who have seen The Brothers Grimm with Heath Ledger and Matt Damon, you will know that at the end, a total lunar eclipse occurred, though they referred to it in the movie mostly as "The Blood Moon" or just "The Eclipse."
I didn't get up at the time the eclipse started, but I did see when it turned red, when it became "The Blood Moon," and if you have seen The Brothers Grimm then you will also recall how during this time that they fought and killed the general, fought and broke the dead Queen's spell and/or curse, brought twelve girls back from another curse (the same curse?) and both seemed to fall in live with Snow White and/or Sleeping Beauty. It was a good movie, I thought, but I believe that it was an odd taste in fantasy. Like somebody dunked it in the Twilight Zone or something, except that the whole thing makes sense, somewhere. :)
So, I guess you can say that I got to experience The Blood Moon. I hear that there will be another one in February 2008. I think I'll be up to see it. You should to. It was pretty cool.
Anna Elizabeth Hedges

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