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Mesmerized by the blood moon – one less regret

Mesmerized by the blood moon – one less regret

Posted on April 16, 2014

We didn’t know about the blood moon until our 7-year old heard it in her school and told us. Since we never heard of it before, we googled it. Found out the timings of the full lunar eclipse and decided it was not feasible to get up in the middle of the night to watch it. Heba  really wanted to see it but like some parents who give excuses when kids insist, we did the same and told her it was a school night and she would be late to school.

Heba went to bed at her usual time and since I had not completed my taxes, I stayed up late working on them. At around midnight, I remembered the lunar eclipse, googled live streams for it and found one that was streaming the eclipse. The eclipse has started when I joined the live stream. I also browsed quickly some news articles that talked about the excitement that some people were showing. I was now in a dilemma. I did not want to regret not watching the blood moon but at the same time did not want Heba to be late for her school.

I hoped that Heba’s excitement would have abated and since she is a sound sleeper, may not even wake up.  So, I gently woke her up to see if she was in the mood. She was up in a jiffy and got bundled up to go out. It is technically spring here but there was snow in our back yard. The moon was not visible from any window and so the only option was to go out in the cold or go out in the car to watch it from the street. I initially thought of going out in the car but then decided against it.

We got the chairs out in the backyard and waited after fully covering ourselves in thick blankets. I set the camera on the tripod and started taking some pictures. The pictures did not come out ok as I had gloves on and it was hard to kneel in the snow to take pictures. So, I kept the camera aside and decided to just enjoy the show.

By this time, the eclipse was almost 90% covering the moon and the redness had not started. We waited for the eclipse to be full and talked about how all of the universe, galaxies, stars, solar system etc., was so awesome. Last week, we had watched the TV series Cosmos and so all those space images were fresh in our memory. We were also thankful for the scientific advancements otherwise a village elder would have put the fear of the devil or something when coming across this phenomenon in an earlier time in history.

Anyhow, when the full eclipse finally happened, it was a mesmerizing sight. Heba did not doze off during the waiting for the full eclipse, bore the cold and seemed to soak it all in. Her curiosity and her excitement added to our experience. We would have stayed out longer if not for the cold and came in after 5 to 10 minutes of watching the full eclipse. Heba immediately went back to bed and fell asleep. She was not too late to her school either in the morning. I was also glad that it was the right decision and in retrospect one less regret.

Since there will be three more of these blood moons in a year time period, for the next ones, I will plan ahead, set up the telescope and the camera well ahead and hopefully take some good pictures. In the meantime, here is a photo downloaded from the Denver Post.

lunar eclipse, blood moon

This composite photo shows multiple images of the moon during the stages of a lunar eclipse, as seen from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Woods)

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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