Thursday, February 22, 2018

Spectacular Super Blue Blood Moon

It was the trifecta of moon watches, and I was able to experience this moon in all its wonders and glory from the patio of the Palm Springs, California home we were staying at. On January 31, I was up at 4 a.m., wrapped in a blanket, steaming coffee in hand, and observed the grand performance. Anyone following this blog knows I enjoy heading outside to watch night turn to the dawn of a new day. I've been able to witness daybreak in many places as we travel, but this heavenly experience is now the best of the best for me.

Leading up to the event, it was hard to miss all of the information about what a Super Blue Blood Moon was; but in case you did, here's the rundown:
  • Super - slightly larger moon than normal
  • Blue - the second full moon of the month
  • Blood - more of a burnt orange total lunar eclipse as Earth passes between the sun and the moon 
While I experienced this celestial display, I noticed a number of shooting stars, was able to see what Orion (my favorite constellation) was up to, could hear the gentle slapping of the nearby palm trees from the light breeze and the momentary squawks from nearby birds as the bright white moonlight turned dark orange (those birds didn't seem to care for that at all), and finally, I could hear the sounds of the city as Palm Springs lazily began to wake up. It was nice to just simply be for hours without thinking about anything else.

From my viewpoint, the moon held the full burnt orange color for about an hour. I wasn't expecting that! I observed this spectacular earth shadow event for over 2 hours. But due to the nearby mountains, I wasn't able to see the bright white of the moon reappear fully. By the time sunshine flashed across the sky, I realized I must have been smiling for hours because my cheeks were sore!

You know, spectacular doesn't even seem like the appropriate word to describe this event, and spectacular isn't a word I use often. Doing a word search of this website, I've never used spectacular in any of my previous 227 posts! We all could use more spectacular in our lives, but it is up to us to get up, get going, and make it happen.


Super blue blood moon photo courtesy of damclark's.