My start in blogging actually began before the rise of blogs, back in the late 90s.
After I wrote an email encouraging people to go out and look at Mars one night when it was big and bright, a friend commented that if I wrote a newsletter about science and astronomy, he would read it. Years later when I discovered blogging and blog software, I knew I’d found a way to make a “newsletter” that anyone could read, and tell people about the things in the sky I loved to see.
Did you see the moon and Mars last night? The stayed close together all night. It was an amazing night here in Asheville, with the bright almost-full moon lighting up the yard almost like day, with long, stark shadows and so much light that I could look out my window and see everything blue and revealed, not hidden by darkness.
When I stepped out to have a look I saw a satellite, too. There’s surprisingly good satellite-spotting in my yard, with polar-orbiting weather and science satellites not too hard to spot on clear nights, even close to the city as I am.
Now that I’m a blogger, I find that one of my favorite things to do, still, is to share interesting things in that happen in the sky.
I’ve been cadging friends into observing the full moon for 10 years or more. The response has been surprisingly good, and at least twice I’ve gotten friends and family to go look at the moon (and enjoy it so much they emailed me back) by sending an email. Once was a for a remarkable full moon sunset, and the other for a gorgeous halo around the moon.
For beauty and ease, there’s not much that can beat peeking out a window or stepping into your own familiar front yard to take in a full moon night. There it is, one of the most beautiful sights in nature, and it’s so easy to spot a child can do it from her bedroom window.
Tonight’s a Christmas Eve full moon. Another good thing about full moons is that everyone on earth has them together. It’s summer in Australia and it’s winter here, but from Bali to Boston to Sarajevo, the moon is full tonight.
Here is the Christmas present I offer you, if the sky is clear and the moon is bright where you are (and you have or are willing to install the Rhapsody free player on your computer).
Sometime tonight, turn off all the lights. Turn your speakers on. If there is a place in your house where you can see the moon (or at least the moonlight), sit there.
Click the picture.