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Friday, April 10, 2009

That big pink thing in the sky

I was driving home this morning and I saw a big pink roundish thing low in the Western sky. It looked like a cloud touched by sunlight, but while broken up somewhat it was still clearly round.

What the hell is that?, I thought. It looked like some sort of big, pink counter-image of the sun, which had not yet risen. I racked my brain to think of an example of the rising sun somehow forming an image in the sky opposite itself before it had actually gotten above the horizon, and I came up blank. That would be some pretty damned peculiar optical geometry, to be sure.

Then I remembered that as my friends and I left the Mexican restaurant where we met for dinner Wednesday night, we were greeted by a Full (or nearly-Full) Moon. One friend exclaimed how great the Full Moon would look through a telescope, and I immediately rained on her parade by pointing out that the Full Moon shows much less interesting detail than any of the partial phases, which always have lots of shadows to highlight mountains and craters, and the image of the Full Moon is dazzlingly, overwhelmingly bright through a telescope (unless viewed through a filter.) Been there, done that.

I realized that what I was seeing was just the Full (or slightly past Full) Moon setting in the West as the Sun rose in the East, distorted by layers of clouds and fog hanging close to the horizon. I was able to follow its descent for a few minutes, but then the highway shifted direction for a bit and the Moon moved off to my right. When I found myself pointing West again the Moon was nowhere to be seen.

Tomorrow the Moon will be a little higher in the sky at sunrise, and a little less full. I wonder if I will have an easier time spotting it on my drive home?

4 comments:

Todd HellsKitchen said...

I saw the full moon yesterday myself! Moon over Manhattan... Isn't that a title of a play or something??

Hey, I just noticed the cool monkey pic way at the bottom of your blog...

Have you ever tried it as a Header image?? Looks like it would be a perfect distinctive title image to me...!

D.B. Echo said...

Heh. Todd, that image was one of the first things I did on this blog, and I think it's been sitting at the bottom for most of the last five years!

http://anothermonkey.blogspot.com/2004/07/self-portrait.html

I toyed with putting it up the top, but it wound up occupying too much space. I suppose I could move some of my precious ads, which earn me pennies a day...

D.B. Echo said...

(Oh, and it's also my Blogger signature pic, too!)

...tom... said...

...

hey there...

The cynic blog reader would wonder:

.

.

.
Where the h3ll is the pic..?!?

But the sensitive, understanding blog reader would note you were driving at the time and give you a pass . . .this time. ...:minism:...


...tom...
' who thinks D.B. will next be seeing little pink elephants . . .. '

'posier' and then 'plathypt'...