Feb 12

Our weather has been hit or miss, with quite a bit of cloudiness day to day, so I was holding my breath for Friday night’s full/snow moon and the penumbral lunar eclipse.  Thursday night, the sky cleared after dark and we were treated to the almost full moon, so I was hopeful.

Friday night I took my normal walk as the sun was setting, the clouds were breaking from the West, which was positive, but the moon was rising in the East…

After I got home, I gathered my camera gear up and headed for the deck in hopes of seeing something, even if I was going to have to play hide and seek with the clouds and moon.

Things worked out quite nicely.  I was able to capture the moon near the height of the penumbral eclipse.

Penumbral Eclipse 02102017.1937

Penumbral Eclipse 02102017.1937

I admit it was not as dramatic as a full lunar eclipse, but still quite beautiful.  Later, I got another beautiful shot of the Full Snow moon.  The Snow moon is a full moon that occurs in February, because this month typically sees the most snowfall.  It is also called the Hunger Moon by some Native American cultures because the winter weather often made it difficult to hunt and forage for food.

Snow Moon 02102017.2203

Snow Moon 02102017.2203

But the fun didn’t end there.  Later Mama Bear and I were sitting and watching some TV, when we heard a sound out front of our house.  I thought it might have been a cat or raccoon, or heaven forbid a skunk, so I went out front and turned on the lights to look around.  I didn’t see anything, so I guess it was one of the neighbor’s cats.

As I turned to go back in the house I glanced up.  There was a moon ring surrounding the moon.  A moon ring is caused by the refraction of moonlight reflected from the moon, into ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.  Sometimes called a 22-degree halo or a winter halo.

If the neighbors were watching, they must be convinced that yes, we are nuts.  Mama Bear and I must have spent 10 or 15 minutes between the front steps and the back deck comparing shots and settings and shooting pictures of the night sky.

Moon Ring 02102017.2300

Moon Ring 02102017.2300

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