Sunday, October 08, 2006
When I was 10 years old.
In 1978, when I was 10 years old, there was a lunar eclipse. I watched it from our front lawn. I was 10 years old. The Moon moved in Her regular and regal way across the sky and then she started to disappear and then and then and then...
SUDDENLY
There were nine moons spread out against the sky.
(like a patient etherized upon a table?)

It was miraculous.

Twenty years later, when I was 30 years old the local newspapers were abuzz with stories of an upcoming lunar eclipse. None of the stories mentioned the effect of multiple Moons. None of the pictures showed the phenomena. I looked on the internet for pictures... nothing. I asked my mother who had been standing next to me when I was 10 years old. She said that the multiple moons never happened. I asked everybody if they had ever seen such a thing. When I was 30 years old the eclipse was low in the sky and obscured by clouds and buildings.

Nothing that I had expected happened at all.

For twenty years I believed that the Moon cloned itself during a lunar eclipse. From knowledge picked up from high school Physics classes, I had created scientific explanations for the optical illusion. Refraction through the stratosphere... multiple relflections... I had it all figured. Twenty years of belief obliterated by the shocking realization that I had made the whole thing up... dreamt it... conjurations of a 10 year old's active imagination.

This is the Moon in eclipse. The photo was taken by a friend. It was taken in Spain less than a year ago. This is not a camera trick... this was visible to the naked eye.




So what I saw with 10 year old eyes has been verified.

I have a question of wonder. I wonder why so little has been made of this phenom... I assume that these cannot be the only two times in the history of astronomical observation that a lunar eclipse characterized by multiple moons has been observed. If you looked up into the night sky and saw many moons... would you not note that as significant? If you had a camera in your hand, then would you not take a picture. Perhaps you may not notice it at all. Perhaps your mind would be so near to fracturing apart itself due to the fact that the shadow of night had taken a bite out of the moon. Perhaps in such a state of awe at the primary effect of the eclipse, that you would have no room to wonder at this secondary effect.

... but when I was 10 years old
... when I was 10 years old I was 10 years old.

- Spirot, Edmonton, Alberta
posted by Ty @ 1:19 AM  
2 Comments:
  • At 4:59 PM, Blogger Benny said…

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  • At 8:27 PM, Blogger anonymous said…

    Just last week I saw the constellation known as "Orion" wearing 3 belts. What struck me as odd was not the replication of stars; Rather, who wears three belts? Certainly not a hunter so insurmountable as Orion! Two belts, maybe (those are, after all, mighty big pants to be holding up), but three? THREE? Something's up my friend, no pun intended, either...

     
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