Cruising Past The Solstice

NASA Illustration of a Possible Tenth Planet

The solstice, which always proceeds Christmas by a few days arrived this year with an added bonus, a full eclipse on a full moon. According to the news commentators this was the first time in over 400 years that such an event had occurred on the solstice. So, it was with great anticipation that I stayed up on Monday night just to watch the full moon go dark on the longest day of the year.

At midnight the moon was full, but despite a forecast for a bright cloudless night, its brightness was partially obscured by by a bank of clouds. An hour and a half later, I returned to the back deck to view the beginning of the great celestial event, only to find that the clouds had disobeyed the weather forecast and grown thicker. T o make things worst the next day broke clear and sunny and remained that way until sunset.

As I later found out almost every other part of the Southeast had clear skies for the rare happening. It seems that only in the neck of the woods, where I happened to be staying, did the great event become obscured by atmospheric events. Oh Shucks! Maybe I’ll get to witness a solstice lunar eclipse in my next lifetime.


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