Thursday, November 29, 2012

Post Penumbral

 We missed - narrowly, though - a penumbral eclipse for the moon yesterday morning. It began about 7:30 am and by then the moon was setting. Those who live west of here, across the western reaches of the US, had a chance to see some of the eclipse, at least.

 So, having no chance at all, I thought I'd watch the moon rise around, see if any of its glory was wiped by shadow. And when the moon rose I was standing in corn stubble, coat pulled about my neck, stars beginning to show overhead.

 Here's a wide view as the moon rose above Pinehaven. The tree just to the right of the moon is the maple beside our kitchen. Pinehaven itself stands nestled in the dark just right of center.

 Walking to the south lawn, Dayton glows to our northeast (left) and a cell phone tower, almost due east of the house, blinks red. It is less than a mile away and often blinks with a blinding white light, perhaps some sort of alarm. Centered in the picture and nestled in the treeline, are several of Dayton's TV stations.
 But overhead is the full moon (actually half a day past full). To its left is Jupiter which seems to have been dragged into the sky by our moon.

 Here's a closer view of the moon and Jupiter, so close they're nearly touching. When I went to bed, the moon was still in the eastern sky and a shaft of golden moonbeams sliced across my bed, head to foot. It was almost too bright to sleep, as though a giant searchlight was shining directly upon me.

 Here's a wider view to Pinehaven's east. As I stood there, the air temperature dropped slowly. It was in the upper 30's when I walked outside and had neared freezing by the time I stepped back indoors.
 And yet, cold as it was, a fall night is a lovely time to walk across the fields, harvested and bare, stepping across the corn stubble with the stars shining overhead. That's when it feels as though we're riding a spaceship (which we are) bound for some novel celestial port. I'm pleased that I can peer through this clear window, marveling at the view, as planets and stars and satellites pass steadily across my view.

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