The all singing, all dancing blog of Alex Guite

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Painting the moon red

One of the things about working in a physics department is that if anything cool and scientific is about to go down, someone is bound to put up a poster drawing your attention to it. Yesterday evening's lunar eclipse was mercilessly promoted in lifts, common rooms and other public places, using footage from previous eclipses as teaser material. In case I wasn't excited enough , the BBC got in on the act yesterday, reporting that the was eclipse set to be the "best in years".

Clearly there was no way I could miss this. As you can imagine, I was over the moon that last night was cloudless.

I can see why lunar eclipses freaked people out back in the day - the moon appears to disappear then returns stained blood red. But thanks to modern science I was able to watch it from my observatory (er, spare room with open window) without any fear. I'd like to think though that even if I wasn't sure what was going on that my first instinct wouldn't have been to sacrifice something.

Particualry at a time when some people on the internet are howling that the moon is getting too predictable and you can download episodes before the moon even rises, I was pretty impressed with the moon's performance last night. The red hue it chose is very now yet its determination not to be rushed through the act (it took over an hour in totality) was frankly timeless (actually, about an hour I guess).

Finally, it seems that no one this week can write a blog without linking to this.

This blog post was written in front of a live studio audience.


At Tuesday, March 13, 2007 5:36:00 PM, Anonymous R said...

Awww, with the fear of being predictable and female, that is an adorable picture in the link- at least it cheered me up at work..!

(The rest of your blog was excellent too of course :) )


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