New Moon…when we are looking at the dark / night side of the Moon. It was most new after sunset yesterday, so tonight one *could* be challenged to look for a very young Moon just after sunset.
Working in the planetarium encouraged me to know where we were in moon phase, where the planets were, and the constant parade of the constellations in their season. Now that I’m back under the actual sky, I like being in tune with the natural rhythms of the planet. The dance we do each month with the Moon, the rising and setting points for the Sun, what star I see first in the evening sky. You can understand why our ancestors liked the predictable motions in the sky as an anchor against what otherwise seems like chaos.
The patterns that were more than they could see sometimes surprised the ancients…like a solar eclipse. Being caught under the shadow of the Moon without warning, darkness flashing over you and a sudden hole where the Sun belonged. Terrifying would not begin to describe the feeling.
Even knowing that we have an eclipse coming….predicted to the minute….it will be in many ways an unexpected experience. Everyone I know that has seen a total eclipse has a look in their eyes, they’ll tell you you’ve just got to experience it for yourself. So we are counting the moons now until the pattern runs the Moon across the Sun for us……