Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Flower Moon of May

At long last, the trees are in full leaf and wonderfully silhouetted against the darkness, the moon something to behold on evenings when the rain clouds roll away, and the lunar orb can be seen.

It would have been grand to see both the moon and a meteor shower last night, but the Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaked the first week of May, in the dark hours before dawn on Sunday, May 5 to be exact.  Eta is a yearly phenomenon, and if you didn't catch it earlier this month, it will be around again next year at about the same time.  Every year, Earth crosses the orbital path of Halley’s Comet in late April and early May, and debris from the comet lights up the sky before dawn as the Eta Aquarid meteor showers - our planet plunges most deeply into the stream of comet debris around the end of the first week in May. October's splendid Orionid meteor showers also emanate from Halley, and so they are autumnal kin to this month's light show.   I have yet to get a good photo of any of Halley's castaway children. 

Last evening's full moon was the first of three supermoons occurring in a row this year: May, June (the biggest) and July.  It was astrologers who coined the term "supermoon" in the seventies, but astronomers and other members of the scientific community call the phenomenon a perigee-syzygy: perigee describing the point at which the moon is closest to the earth, and syzygy  referring to either the new moon or a full moon.  Is the supermoon apparent to the human eyes???  Probably not, but any full moon is worth an admiring glance.  After all, it is Mother Earth's own moon and that makes it ours too.

There was a minor eclipse last evening.  A small crescent shaped scrap, a mere whisper of Lady Moon passed through the penumbra or outermost part of Earth's shadow, each entity on its own but interwoven journey.  Alas, the eclipse was only visible from parts of the southern hemisphere, a little before midnight.

We also know May's golden moon as the: Alewife Moon, Anagantios Moon, Blossom Moon, Bottlebrush Moon, Bright Moon, Budding Moon, Corn Planting Moon, Death Moon, Dragon Moon, Dyad Moon, Fawns Moon , Field Maker Moon, Fifth Moon, Fish Moon, Flowering Moon, Frog Moon, Frogs Return Moon, Geese Go North Moon, Geese Moon, Grass Moon, Green Leaf Moon, Hare Moon, Hoeing Corn Moon, Idle Moon, Iris Moon, Joy Moon, Leaf Dancing Moon, Leaves Appear Moon, Leaves Tender Moon, Lily of the Valley Moon, Little Corn Moon, Little Finger Moon, Magnolia Moon, Merry Moon, Milk Moon, Moon of Big Leaf, Moon of the Strawberry, Moon of the Camas Harvest, Moon of Waiting, Moon To Plant, Moon When Corn is Planted, Moon When Ponies Shed Their Fur, Moon When the Buffalo Plant is in Flower, Moon When the Leaves Are Green, Moon When the Little Flowers Die, Moon When the Horses Get Fat, Moon When Women Weed Corn, Mulberry Moon, Mulberry Ripening Moon, New Waters Moon, Old Woman Moon, Panther Moon, Penawen Moon, Peony Moon, Planting Moon, Putting Seeds in the Hole Moon, Seeds Moon, Seeds Ripen Moon, Sprout Kale Moon, Staying Home Moon, Storing Moon, Strawberry Moon, Suckers Dried Moon Summer Moon, Thrice Milk Moon When the Ponies Shed Their Shaggy Hair Moon, Wind Tossed Moon, Winnemon Moon.

As names go, I am fond of "Budding Moon", "Green Leaf Moon" and "Merry Moon".


Tabor said...

This is the little merlin that wakes me around 1:00 each evening since I do not have covers for my windows! There he/she sits beaming like a crazy loon as I rub the sleep dirt from my eyes.

kerrdelune said...

Shines in mine too, Tabor, at least on nights when it is not raining!