February 10th, 2017
I believe I have may have mentioned before that I am an unrepentant sky watcher. Always have been. As a small child, I vividly remember laying in the grass, starring into the blue above me amused by the shapes the clouds form. Then when I was a little older on a school trip to Mt Palomar to visit the observatory, I was seriously wowed. I think that may have been what started my love of Science Fiction.
In 1969, when I was in high school, Neil Armstrong became the first man to land on the moon. My heart was in my throat watching that enormous rocket lift up into the sky and tears came to my eyes when he took his "giant leap for mankind." In college I took an astronomy course that had us up on the roof of the school seeing up close and personal through a telescope the things that before I had only seen in photographs. It gave me chills. And not just because it was damned cold up on that roof, Connecticut Winters and all.
I know that I recently mentioned that in Colorado the back of our house faced southeast and every morning greeted us with a magnificent sunrise over the ridgeline that I never grew tired of. And now, here in Florida, it's the sunsets. Each one more stunningly beautiful that the last. Yesterday, I biked over to the jetty early in the day and took photographs of "ghost ships" in the fog and then as the sky cleared the crispness of waves crashing against the rocks. Well not to be left out, last night Tim and I both went over to watch the sun go down. That is the photograph here. The peace of watching the sun swallowed by the sea and then the wild colourization of the sky that follows.
Well if that tempts you at all into looking skyward, you have a treat in store for tonight! Tonight is the Snow Moon. The full moon of February is called the snow moon and if you have a clear sky it should be stunning. There is also a Prenumbral Lunar Eclipse on tap for tonight. It's not the huge dramatic one of legend, but it should still be easily seen shortly after moonrise which is expected at 7:43 EST. Keep a sharp eye and stay awake because in the wee hours of Saturday morning, oh say about 3:00 am, a comet will be streaking across the sky. Comet 45P will be in easy Binocular viewing range. It will be the bluegreen head with a tail following in the eastern sky. I'm so excited!!! Don't feel too bad if you miss it. You will get another chance to see it in 5 years.
Perhaps it's the romance of it all. Maybe I'm just a science nerd. I don't know. Don't much care either. I am going to watch it and I'm going to enjoy the heck out of it. And if you happen to be looking skyward tonight, we will be watching the same sky, the same moon and the same comet, together.
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.