Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Full Cold Moon* and Missed Phenomena

Celebra-ting the Winter Solstice is something I always look forward to - it means the longest night is over and each succeeding day will gain more light.

This year I was also looking forward to a phenomenon that hasn't occurred since 1638 - a total eclipse of the full moon on the winter solstice. It was to be visible throughout North America - if it wasn't cloudy. When I went to bed last night, the sky was overcast. I didn't even try to get up in the middle of the night to see if it had cleared.

Upon arising this morning, I was greeted with a clear sky and the 'Full Cold Moon' pictured here.

And while I was looking forward to observing the full moon-winter solstice-total eclipse with my own eyes, I still have a huge advantage over my ancestors of 372 years ago - I can view the pictures on the Internet and TV.

*Other names for the December full moon are: Full Long Nights Moon, Oak Moon, Bitter Moon, Snow Moon and, fittingly, Christmas Moon.

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