Last night, the Sun, Moon and Earth were aligned in such a way that the sunlight illuminating the Moon was blocked by the Earth. But this shadow, tonight, is very ill-defined. It’s so ethereal that I had to use my imagination to conjure up any evidence of the event. It is so subtle that I thought I saw some difference in the appearance of the Moon when, in fact, due to a very small error in my computations, I was looking on the wrong night.
The next night, which was the correct time to look for the event, I thought I detected that the top of the Moon was not as brightly illuminated as the bottom. But the topography of the top is different than the bottom, so even now, I have second thoughts as to whether or not I was observing the event. The Moon was low, as well, obscured by tree limbs and the atmosphere. My wonderful computer program, Starry Night, recreated the event for me, showed me the subtlety of the effects and convinced me, finally, that I was indeed seeing this underwhelming phenomenon, a Lunar Penumbral Eclipse, a much fancier sounding name than befits the event itself. I’ve actually renamed this phenomenon. I think Subliminal Lunar Penumbral Eclipse is more apt.
But the experience was as vivid as the phenomenon was subtle. I enjoyed the idea that I was looking up at the sky, just as the Sun, Moon and Earth were in alignment. Nevermind that ninety-nine percent of the experience was mental. It doesn’t matter. Our experiences only exist through the wonder of self-awareness. Our realities and fantasies are simply neurons and chemical reactions. It’s depressing, really, and I don’t want to talk about it any more.