The Man in the Moon

Do you know where to look? Neither did I.

In the weather section of this morning’s Press Democrat was a squib, “It’s a gibbous moon. (It) shows the man in the moon, Can you see it?” That set me going. I found these three pics which will help you find his face the next time you look:

Here’s the same pic minus explanation …..

See if you can see the face

See if you can see the face

And here is an enhanced photo that shows you exactly what he looks like:

The man in the moon

The man in the moon

Bloodshot eyes? Been in a fight again?

Lunar Eclipse

The recent lunar eclipse got me going. Alas, going to the Southern Hemisphere to watch was out of the question. So, I have had the dragnet out for spectacular photos. Here’s my haul:

Photo shopped? if it is it's still a great shot

Photo shopped? If it is it’s still a great shot

Great time lapse photo

Great time lapse photo

Is the end near?

Is the end near?

This explains it all

This explains it all


Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune (Moonlight) plus a visit to the moon

I love piano music. I have five different renditions of Clair de Lune. The one on the following vid is as good as it gets. The piece was published in 1905 as the third of four movements in the composer’s Suite Bergamasque, and unlike the other parts of this work, Clair is quiet, contemplative, and slightly melancholy, evoking the feeling of a solitary walk through a moonlit garden.

The visualization in the vid? “The visuals were composed like a nature documentary, with clean cuts and a mostly stationary virtual camera. The viewer follows the Sun throughout a lunar day, seeing sunrises and then sunsets over prominent features on the Moon. The sprawling ray system surrounding Copernicus crater, for example, is revealed beneath receding shadows at sunrise and later slips back into darkness as night encroaches. The visualization was created to accompany a performance of Clair de Lune by the National Symphony Orchestra Pops, led by conductor Emil de Cou, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, on June 1 and 2, 2018, as part of a celebration of NASA’s 60th anniversary. The visualization uses a digital 3D model of the Moon built from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter global elevation maps and image mosaics. The lighting is derived from actual Sun angles during lunar days in 2018.

The vid lasts about 5 mins:

Thanks to wife for the heads up on this one. Thanks NASA for creating the vid,


2017 Solar Eclipse

The recent solar eclipse was a total bust here in foggy Fort Bragg in Northern California. Exciting as it was it was not exciting enough for me to traipse 300 miles to Oregon to see it. So, I have been paging through my favorite sites looking for pics of the eclipse. There are lots but these three particularly turned me on.

Far away

Far away


Closer – look at the flares

Bingo - what a shot!!!!

Bingo – what a shot!!!!

Mesmerizing. Breathtaking what?

Crescent Supermoon vs Full Mini-moon

The moon fascinates me – it always has. I think my fascination comes from watching the moon when I was a kid in hospital. It’s only recently that I have begun to understand just how it is the same old moon and look so different. This piece from Space Weather is my latest piece of erudition:

The Moon’s orbit is an ellipse, with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other. This has an effect on the apparent size of the Moon. The lunar disk grows larger when the Moon is nearby and smaller when far away. In the past two weeks we have witnessed two extremes–a crescent supermoon followed by a full ‘mini-Moon.’ Peter Lowenstein of Mutare, Zimbabwe, photographed them both:

Supermoon and Mini-moon

Supermoon and Mini-moon

The size difference was so great, the crescent Moon of May 27th could hold the full Moon of June 9th with room to spare!” says Lowenstein. “I took these photographs from the same location in Mutare using the same optical zoom setting (x60) on the same Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ-60 camera within two hours of moonset.”

Some people say that mini-Moons and supermoons all appear to be the same size.  After all, there are no rulers floating in the sky to measure lunar diameters, and without reference points to provide a sense of scale, one Moon can indeed look much like any other. However, Lowenstein’s photo shows there is a real difference.”

Strawberry Moon Tonight

This is from Space Weather:

According to folklore, tonight’s full Moon is the Strawberry Moon, named after plants that bear their delicious red fruit during the month of June. But if this is really the Strawberry Moon, why does it look so …orange? John Stetson photographed the carrot coloured orb setting over Sebago Lake, Maine, on June 8th.”

Strawbwrry Moon

Strawberry Moon

The orange color is imprinted by the atmosphere. When the Moon is hanging low, airborne dust and other particles scatter blue from moonlight, leaving only red and orange hues.

Something else happens when the Moon is hanging low: The Moon Illusion magnifies its apparent size. It looks huge.Look for the Strawberry Moon rising in the east at sunset.  It’s a huge delight.”

By the light of the silvery moon

Did you see the new moon last night. I just stood and gazed it was so beautiful.

This I got this from Space Weather:

If you thought last night’s crescent Moon was super-beautiful, you were right. It was a crescent supermoon. Peter Lowenstein photographed the slender arc from Mutare, Zimbabwe:

The moon - Just a tiny crescent

Just a tiny crescent

The evening sky was perfectly clear and allowed a good view of the very young crescent supermoon,” says Lowenstein. “At first the thin crescent was difficult to locate above the sunset glare (first picture) but as the orange light faded and the sky turned turned lilac and then blue it became clearly visible to the north of Christmas Pass.:

The supermoon

The supermoon

What made the crescent “super”?  “Supermoons” are full Moons that are extra big and bright because they occur on the perigee side of the Moon’s elliptical orbit. Last night’s sky show was the same phenomenon, writ slender. The crescent Moon of April 27th occurred at perigee, making it as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than other crescent Moons of the year.”

Now, if you are like me and don’t know your perigee from your apogee I offer the following diagram.

Perigee and apogee diagram

Perigee and apogee diagram

Got it?  “A”, apogee, away. I got it!

And if you want to sing by the light of ……..


March is the Month of the Worm Moon

The Worm Moon

The Worm Moon

I was in a bookstore in Eureka yesterday and was confounded by a conversation between two youngish young ladies talking about the Full Worm Moon. I know that the moon is made of cheese but does it also have worms?

It turned out that these two ladies were avid gardeners trying to use the knowledge of the Yurok Indians. From what they told me and what I have turned up it seems the March Moon is aptly named.

The Full Worm Moon – March.  As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.

I’m off to hunt earthworms tomorrow!