Total Eclipse of the Moon

As I write this, the Moon is emerging from the shadow of the Earth. Tonight is the Total Eclipse of a Supermoon – a somewhat rare combination. Earlier this evening, my family went out to look at the moon for a while. Of course in Pittsburgh, any astronomical curiosity is met with cloudy weather, and tonight was typical.

Any interesting astronomical event is, in Pittsburgh, a portent of rain.

Any interesting astronomical event is, in Pittsburgh, a portent of rain.

We sat around on a damp park bench in cool evening breezes for more than an hour, and caught only a few glimpses of the moon through gaps in the clouds.

A waning half moon on the night of a full moon. (2015-09-27)

A waning half moon on the night of a full moon.


Frustrating, but in the end we did see the moon go from full to half to a small waning crescent.

The Moon is rapidly waxing again now, ultimately visiting all the Phases of the Moon in one busy evening. But the sky here is now a uniform blue-gray blanket, and also rain is falling from it. Oh well; techincally we saw the eclipse, and I even coaxed my camera into focusing on the moon a few times…or nearly focusing. (Ever try taking pictures of the Moon? It’s possible, but it’s not easy.)

Earth steals the spotlight, shutting down a full moon for a little while.

Earth steals the spotlight, shutting down a full moon for a little while.

And now to bed. “Goodnight room; goodnight Moon; goodnight Shadow passing over the Moon….”

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