December 21st, 2010

planet

lunar eclipse

Saw the lunar eclipse last night. I was no more excited about it than any other eclipse, the fact that it happened during solstice reminds me of people who get excited about the most random of baseball statistics... "Kevin Albertson has stolen more bases than any left-handed batter under 5'9" since 1993!"

I know you're all wondering... if sf is so interested in space, why didn't she become an astronomer? Or better, astrophysicist? There are three answers to that question:

1) I am not a genius. Although I am pretty smart. So really, this first bullet is just here to pay tribute to astronomers... I of course believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I can sometimes even fake genius.

2) I really wanted a stable career with lots of employment opportunities. The career book at my high school library said there weren't many people employed as astronomers.

3) I had a high school teacher who I loved, and who was an astrophysicist. His glorious tales of working in middle-of-nowhere observatories at 3am worried me. The fact that it was 20° below petrified me. I really do not like the cold.

Anyway, Josie woke us up for the eclipse. I knew she would. Marc and I are so sleep deprived he said, "I am not setting an alarm for this thing." and I said of course that makes sense, but let's see what time it's supposed to happen just in case we happen to be awake. Since Josie came around, there are lots of times at night we happen to be awake.

Sure enough at 1:30 she started crying, I walked around to see if we could see the moon out some window but it was too high. I told Marc about it. He went outside to check it out. I tried to join him a few minutes later when she was not asleep enough... so yeah, I basically didn't see much of the eclipse. But I saw a few minutes, and given the fact that it was 2am in late December that was enough for me. Marc can be excited about things in a way that makes him not care too much about cold. I don't have so much talent there.

There was a beautiful red-brown shadow across the moon, uneven and darker on one side, the lighter near an edge until there was no shadow at all. There was a couple in the street across from us, hugging each other in the darkness and looking up. It was sort of cloudy, but you could see through the clouds at most points so the moon was still there.

I got Josie to sleep in our bed, then went and watched the moon with Marc. I came back upstairs and moved Josie into her crib, now that she'd had time to get into that deeper sleep. My cosleeping pendulum swung back this week... I'm against it again. Anyway Marc and I were awake for a while after that, and excited, and he wouldn't stay off twitter because the eclipse was all the talk. But after a while we settled down. At 6am when I woke up to get ready for work. The baby was sleeping and the moon was back.