Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice Eclipse

Red Moon Rising...this was amazing to watch.
There are very few times in which one can get to watch something truly amazing. Science is usually one of those fields that is heavily based on theories and hypotheses. Astronomy has always been a favorite of mine and I had often thought how cool it would be to be an astronomer. Of course, to be one I would have to have the required math skills to at least get through calculus and that never happened. But, I know what a lunar eclipse was and how special it is to witness one...especially when it coincides with the Winter Solstice.

The last time something like this happened was in 1638 and it will not happen again until 2094. Now unless they cure old age, I am doubting that I will make the next one. This almost like the fuss people made over Haley's Comet in 1986...which is something I never got to see and since the next appearance is not until 2061, I will probably miss that one too.

One thing is for certain is that a lunar eclipse is a wonderful sight to see. A red moon is very scary to look at without knowing why it is that way of course. The earth's shadow combined with sun rays bent through the atmosphere give the moon a dark reddish appearance that will make it appear that we are in for some rough times ahead. Yet, it makes us realize that even the moon, as high as it is above us must also hide behind shadows once in a while.

As I stared in the sky on this cold night, I thought about all the people who have walked this planet who may have witnessed what I am witnessing. I am sure that older cultures thought that the red moon represented death or that perhaps God was angry. There is also talk about a blood moon in the book of revelations as well. So the thought of the moon being anything other than white was considered a bad thing (go figure). I also thought about all the people who were missing this. I then thought about all the people who were watching it. This was a shared event on a global scale...well at least this for the part of the globe that can see the moon.

The nature of the moon and the stars above are indeed heavenly. It makes me think how much of a fool I am to stress over the things in life that are just so minuscule compared the vastness of the universe. I worry about money and what I am doing with my life. I stress over love and the lack of it or the simple fact I may never truly achieve everything I want to in my life. All this is so small compare to the billions upon billions of stars in the sky.

I am sure right now...somewhere in this galaxy or the next, a star...a real star in being born. A remnant of the big bang that created the universe so long ago. With that star are other planets that require this new star to provide warmth, light, and life to the various surfaces and landmasses that are on these heavenly spheres that will eventually surround and orbit this brand new star. On the flip side, I am sure right now...somewhere in this galaxy or the next, a star is dying and will go supernova. With that supernova there are planets that will die as well. The end of the their world as we know it. So, who am I to worry about if some chick is going to text me when I should be glad that I am alive and can contribute to the universe.

This lunar eclipse is a reminder that we cannot take for granted the things around us. Life is precious and nature is beautiful, humanity has a way of destroying everything it touches, including ourselves. Yet, we think it is more important to waste our lives on the trivial without taking into consideration that we are every bit apart of every star that has been born in this universe. The universe gives back to us what we give to it. Some people call it Karma. Others call it the work of God. In either case, we are children of the universe and I think it is about time we start acting like it.

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