Sep 28th, 2015
Last night there was a ‘Supermoon’ combined with a lunar eclipse – apparently this only happens every 30 years. Unfortunately the eclipse part was due to happen between 1am and 6am – so seeing it would mean getting up in the middle of the night…
The Supermoon itself was up by 9:30pm, and by 10:30pm it had cleared the trees to the left of our house, so R and I walked down to the end of the drive to have a look (about the first time anything interesting astronomically has happened in my vicinity when it hasn’t been thick cloud and pouring with rain). It was simply amazing, almost as light as day, with no need for a torch on the rough road outside. We could even see our ‘moonshadows’.
After seeing this, I decided I couldn’t miss the eclipse itself, so I set an alarm and got up at 3am to take a look. The last tiny fragment of moon was disappearing, and the ethereal light of earlier had quite vanished. I opened the french windows out of my office to take a (rather unsuccessful) photo, and was joined by a sleepy R and two puzzled cats who must have been wondering what the humans were doing up during hunting hours. While we were standing there in the near darkness, an owl began to hoot mournfully from the trees – very atmospheric.
I’m not a good sleeper at the best of times, and not sure I slept properly again, but at about 4am I opened the curtains again to see if the post-eclipse ‘blood moon’ would be showing. But in the last hour the clouds had closed in and there was no sign of the moon at all.
A wonderful experience though….