Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cool Moon Phases . . . January 24

Have you noticed that little moon widget over in the right-hand column of this blog? It's really cool.

I did take a moon picture, once.
 I have one of those on my Facebook page. I love being able to say the current moon is waning gibbous, 64% of full, as it in fact is as I write this.  It was on my Facebook sidebar until Facebook began messing with apps on sidebars and I think I'm the only one who can see it there now.

Friday evening my sister and I went out for dinner. (You know, the tipped salt shaker meal.)  Afterward I dropped her off at her house and headed home through a cold clear night. As I drove around curves, up and down hills, a big bright moon seemed to rise into the sky then dip down behind a hill. I wanted to try for the perfect moon shot, a huge moon emerging from behind a hill.

But the road home is narrow and space to pull over never coincided with the perfect view. Last chance would be at home, if the critical moment hadn't passed already.

It hadn't. Only the tiniest sliver of moon peeked above the hill as I stopped my car in the driveway such that I could steady the camera on its roof. I waited. The moon rose a tad. I tried a shot and got a flash photo of the car rack.

I waited.  Why didn't the moon come up as fast as a setting sun seems to plunge into the ocean?  I shivered. It was cold out. It rose a little, filtered by a tree.  I waited.

Nuts! It was going to rise all the way through the tree. Too slow and too cold to wait. Why couldn't it rise a little farther left?

So I went to Facebook to see by my Current Moon that it was waning gibbous, about 97%. And I saw the link to put the Current Moon Module on my blog. If you look closely at it, it accurately represents the moon phase where you live, that is, if your computer time is your local time.

The developer of the software sent me an email today, thanking me for installing it and linking to additional moon information programs he has available, such as info on moon phases on any date in history. (I'd already purchased one of those last year, but have waited for the new computer to install it.)

Brilliant. After all, what murder mystery author, for example, wants to get called out by some snarky reader that there was no full moon on the night in question?

See you tomorrow.


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