Lunar Eclipse

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Psalm 19: 1-6

    1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
       the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

    2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
       night after night they display knowledge.

    3 There is no speech or language
       where their voice is not heard.

    4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,
       their words to the ends of the world.
       In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

    5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
       like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

    6 It rises at one end of the heavens
       and makes its circuit to the other;
       nothing is hidden from its heat.

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From The Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson:

It was a clear night without a moon. With a friend, I went out on a flat headland that is almost a tiny island, being all but surrounded by the waters of the bay. There the horizons are remote and distant rims on the edge of space. We lay and looked up at the sky and the millions of stars that blazed in darkness. The night was so still that we could hear the buoy on the ledges out beyond the mouth of the bay. Once or twice a word spoken by someone on the far shore was carried across on the clear air. A few lights burned in cottages. Otherwise there was no reminder of other human life; my companion and I were alone with the stars. I have never seen them more beautiful: the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon. Once or twice a meteor burned its way into the earth’s atmosphere.

It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century or even once in a human generation, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be seen many scores of nights in any year, and so the lights burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead; and because they could see it almost any night perhaps they will never see it.

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I wanted to share these two works with you and I hope you can appreciate my reasons for doing so. Approximately 30 million people watch American Idol on any given night, I wonder how many took the time to watch the eclipse? Did any of you?  We as a nation/culture are too tied to our televisions, I of course am among the worst, but am looking to change. I don’t even know if change is the appropriate word. When I was a child, you couldn’t drag me inside at night to watch TV, now it’s the couch. Unfortunately, my boys are too young for me to take them outside at night for any time span longer than 30-45 seconds for stargazing, but when they are, will I be ready to take advantage of the opportunity? The photos of the eclipse weren’t pirated from any website, they came from our little corner of Citrus Park. Would’ve had more, but the clouds set in and it started to drizzle.

The orange tint the moon has taken on is due to scattering of light by the earth’s atmosphere. If you want to read more, Wikipedia has a nice article.

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One Response to “Lunar Eclipse”

  1. Andy Wells Says:

    Great thoughts! I had been looking forward to the eclipse for a month, only to have clouds block it out! Thanks for the pics and the scripture and Rachel Carson. Maybe I’ll do better in 2010!

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