Tonight's total lunar eclipse made me think two things:
- Wow look at that, amazing!
- Er...what's all the fuss about? Yes, the moon's gone red, but it was upside down anyway so no big deal really.
On the first point it really is quite astonishing to watch the Earth's shadow fall across the moon and the scattering effect of the atmosphere make it appear a rusty blood red. Once you know that's what it is, it does make you feel sufficiently small. Of course if you didn't know that, it might make you feel something untoward and bizarre had happened and that you really should go and work out your frustrations on the peculiar lady down the road and her sizable collection of cats and brooms. Dammit she was probably the reason your turnip crop failed, get the kindling.
The second point is a bit harder to nail down. Once you do know the reasons for the moon turning red, should you really be that impressed by it any more? If you happened to be in the right spot on each occasion you could see this twice a year. Being amazed by it when you know that as well doesn't seem too far removed from standing in a muddy field howling at it, which some people were actually doing.
This is possibly why the majority of people left after ten minutes of staring at probably one of the most beautiful natural phenomena they will ever see to go home and stare at the television for a few hours. Weirdos, how can you ignore that? The moon went red for heaven's sake; it was incredible!
Apologies for lack of pictures, the phone wasn't quite up to the task. I'll steal from the newspaper websites tomorrow.