Thursday, June 23, 2005

Twenty Year Moon

I don't understand how or why, something to do with angle-of-dangle and atmospheric distortions but every twenty years the moon does a strange thing, rising far to the south of its normal position it appears huge in the sky. Last night was the night. From the top of Portsdown hill, with the lights of Portsmouth laid out beneath us R and I watched the moon rise over Hayling Island and Langstone harbour. The hill was packed with middle-aged couples with binoculars. It rose through a little cloud looking blood red - easy to see now why, in earlier times, the moon caused such a religious stirring - almost the size of the sun at dawn. Truly beautiful and although it shrunk a little as it rose into the sky, even at 11pm it was bright yellow, and truly vasy, trails of cloud across the moon's disk making it look, from time to time, like one of those amazing pictures from the Hubble telescope of something deep in space, something that should be a long way from the normal skies of earth.

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