The Bully of the Night

The Super Moon! The Super Moon! The news has gone nuts about reporting this. The moon is full once every lunar cycle, and your eyes would have a hard time measuring a difference in brightness from one full moon to the next. However, its over-all effect on the sky is like a bully on a playground that dominates. For this reason, the Milky Way seems to vanish and the stars seem pale. Most observers of the night skies go into hiding. After all, it’s time for the full moon.

Alas, those nights a few days before and a few days after the full moon are often forgotten. God does not take that view. He made the moon to shed light and be part of the exquisite time piece He created. And, contrary to most observer’s opinions, it is still a beautiful sight. The moon near the brightest part of its cycle makes moon rises spectacular over reflective surfaces or against jutting topograhy. When clouds work their way across the sky, the brightest moon nights provide a chance to see lunar crepuscular rays, interesting halos with interesting faint red tinges, and playful masking of the lunar face. With a telescope, one gets to see the far reaches of the moon that are usually “around the corner” in lunar night. Early mornings after dawn provide unequalled sights of a newly waning moon against blue skies (if it’s clear). The list goes on.

When it is so dominant, questions about its origins are popular since it is so “in-your-face.”  He made it. Nope, it did not come together on its own from a blob. Exposive beginnings are also conjectures of strange origin, since explosions tend (understated) to make things more disorderly rather than orderly. And, interestingly enough, its constituent parts are not the same balance of things we find on earth. In short, it was made as intended on day 4 of creation, continuing to keep our oceans moving around and providing subtle but important affects on God’s created centerpiece (earth). It’s orbit actually is not quite constant, which is another hint among others that the solar system and celestial heavens are very young–not billions of years as popularly conjectured.

Why not go sketch it? Record what you see. Here is one example from a few years ago. The evening was just a few days after full moon, so it was still big and bright. It was another night to give thanks to the One who created all things…

20101022-moonrise

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