The Blood Moon in London
What do you do when you finish work at an impossibly late hour on a ridiculously clear night?
You stay up to watch a rare celestial event, of course.
What exactly is the blood moon business that everyone is harping on about? It’s a lunar eclipse, combined with a ‘super moon’, which could be seen rising gently over Canary Wharf during sunset yesterday. I forgot to take my camera to work and I won’t bore you by posting the pathetic pic I snapped off my iPhone. As a writer, I’ll instead try to use my words to describe what I saw to you.
It was a bunch of shiny buildings with a giant moon in the background. Pretty cool stuff.
There was an outcry last night of how this blood moon was heralding an apocalypse – the end of days. Well duh, we’re aware of that. Climate change is a thing that is happening after all. The world as we know it is changing.
In my opinion, everyone needed to pipe down and enjoy the beautiful blood red moon! Tonight’s spectacle was a rare event indeed… the last one happened in 1982 before I was born and the next in 2033. I don’t want to think about how old I’ll be then.
Why am I as excited as a kid at Christmas time? I’d be happy to tell you, dear reader. There are no secrets between us.
Since I finally took the time to sit down and figure out how to use my camera (only two years or so after I first bought it) I have discovered I actually have a keen interest in photography, particularly night photography.
This realisation hit around the time I moved from the middle of nowhere on the East Coast of Australia, to Central London. This city doesn’t exactly offer up the best conditions for night time photography. If I can see maybe ten stars on a clear night, I consider myself a lucky lady.
So why was I so excited about this particular celestial event?
A picture says a thousands words, so I’ve included a helpful graphic to further explain why I was wide awake at 2am on a Sunday morning, blogging and taking photos in a large coat I got in an op-shop in Paris, rather than sleeping.
Highlighted in case you missed it.
The thing is dear reader, whenever one of these events occurs, whether they be solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, blood moons – whatever, you usually can’t see shit from Australia. It’s either the wrong time of the day/night, or we’re just too far south.
On the contrary, since I’ve moved to the Northern Hemisphere I’ve seen the aurora borealis twice and a solar eclipse. Pretty good, considering I’ve only been living here for 13 months.
I want to take photographs of these stunning acts of nature. Not only for myself, but for my family and friends back home, so they’ll all realise what they’re missing out on and come hang out in England with me.
I spent the early hours of the morning rushing from inside to outside, adjusting my camera settings, swearing at the ball head on my tripod which refused to keep steady, wondering why the girl opposite me was watching TV at 3am on a Monday morning, or just gaping openly at the sky.
The funny thing about eclipses (which I realised when I saw my first solar eclipse in Iceland earlier this year) is they take ages to happen. You want to watch an eclipse? You’ll have to commit a good few hours of your time to seeing it through.
About an hour after showtime, our planet’s shadow began to slowly pass over the moon. It took another hour after that for the moon to start to darken into a rich, deep blood red. It was astonishing to watch.
My favourite point of the eclipse was shortly before it reached completion. A slither of moon gaped out from the bottom, as if we were simply gazing at a waxing moon. I don’t know what science was doing to cause this, but a beaming line of light circled the moon under the slither that the earth’s shadow had yet to cover. Universe, you never cease to amaze me.
I tried to get a good photo, but my lens, tripod and lack of camera skills plotted against me. The focus could be way better.
The shadow of the earth fully covered the moon and it hung there, glowing blood red in the sky. Looking at it, I could understand how this sight could be misconstrued as some sort of portent of doom. For me however, it was a lovely reminder of just how astonishingly beautiful this world can be.
A blood moon in London and a clear night to boot – what wonderful luck indeed.