Friday, September 25, 2015

The triple treat full moon

On September 27th at 10:50, the full Harvest Moon, which will be a truly remarkable moon, a triple treat.
 First it is  a Super moon, which means it appears larger, 14% larger and 33% brighter, because the moon is closest to the Earth or at perigee. All moon appear larger,when it is near the horizon, also known as the "moon Illusion"
.  Then there is the lunar eclipse, which should be visible in western Europe , across the mighty Atlantic, and well through western North America, unless of course the sky is filled with clouds and/or rain.   For the  4th time in 17 months, there has been a lunar eclipse.  Eclipses of the moon are not unusual, but the last time an eclipse like this ne occurred was 1982, and the next will be in 2033. 

And  for some frosting on this  Full Moon Cake, during this Mooth. the day preceding the full moon, the day of the full moon and  the day following the full moon, there are Equilux.  Equilux is the day when the hours of daylight and dark are the nearest to equal, the Equliux  occurs in the days after the Equinox and it doesn't fall on the same day in all areas of the big blue marble, due in part to variables caused by the curvature of the Earth. 

Harvest Moon is so named because it was the time when the staple foods of  the Native Americans, including corn, rice squash and beans were ready for harvest.  European farmers were also able to work much longer hours because of the light of the Harvest Moon.  The first moon after the Equinox is designated the Harvest Moon, and about twice per decade occurs in October, when this happens the September Full moon is called the Corn Moon.

When I first read that another name for tonight's full Moon was the Blood Moon, I began to wonder if I had really misunderstood what I was reading, but no.
 it is called the Blood Moon, for the color of the moon, caused by atmospheric condition common at this time of year, also because of the association with hunters who hunt by the light of the moon, and smoke from the fires of made by farmers to clear their fields.  The Blood Moon tonight derives its color , which some would call "root beer" from being in shadow during the eclipse.

Though the sunflowers have  faded, in fact most flowers have faded, the sunchokes along the garden  fence have sent their tiny sunflower like blooms soaring twenty feet above the ground.  Also known as Jerusalem Artichokes, sunchokes are a member of the sunflower family.  As I watched the sun sink below the  treetops, the tiny flowers on unbelievably long stalk swayed and swirled in the breeze.   You can see them in bloom along the roadside at this time of year, the roots are edible, even prized as a delicacy by some, but not me, I like the flowers.  The ones along the road don't usually get very tall, for these reasons I will call this the Sunchoke Moon.

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