Here we are, gathered on this bleak Monday, a band of hardy stragglers huddled together in a sheltered corner of the internet. We are the last survivors of Earth’s weekend “Supermoon” encounter.
Saturday evening’s 14% larger-than-normal full moon came as a boon to photographers, lunatics and doomsayers. The full moon has always had some baggage and is regularly blamed for episodes of weird human behavior. The moon’s elliptical orbit brought it to its closest Earth approach at the same time fullness arrived, causing worldwide consternation even though nothing was out of the ordinary.
© Copyright Adrian S. Pye
But theater people already know what great dramatic effects can be wrought with timing and careful manipulation of the lights. And how little those effects will mean if you perform them while the curtain is drawn, as it was here in the Twin Cities on Saturday night.
Still, we live in a particular place and at a specific time when things that are bigger and brighter than normal are revered. We like the concept of “super-ness”, whether it’s applied to football games or french fries. Even a small fragment of extra power is alluring, and some wondered if a close-approach moon might trigger a rash of earthquakes and tsunamis. It didn’t, but it did shake loose an avalanche of online articles about the “Supermoon”, and how there was really nothing to fear.
In the end, paying closer attention to what goes on in the night sky can’t be bad, and I know some learning happened. For example, until I encountered and made myself pay attention to the “Supermoon”, I was unsure if the word “elliptical” had two or three “L’s”. Now I know!
Here’s a nice educational flyer from space.com with more handy information.
All Supermoon needs now is a song.
Here’s one idea, to the familiar tune of “Moon River”.
Moon … Super! Wider than a mile.
Calamity’s your style … they say.
You seem bigger, you quake trigger.
The closer you look the more we pull away.
Space drifter, raising up our tides
Upsetting our insides, don’t scoff!
Our planet is nearing it’s end! It’s chaos you portend.
You’re a lousy friend, Moon – Super! Back off!
Are you unsettled when someone stands too close?