October 8 lunar eclipse as captured by Erin Mohr Bianco in Maryland.
Ordinarily, the Carolina Meadows golf course is deserted after dark. An exception occurred on October 8 during the cool, clear, pre-dawn hours. Then, as one approached the golf course, one could hear muffled voices and see shadows, single, in pairs or small groups, all of them looking up at the sky. These were CM residents, some in street clothes, some in bathrobe and slippers, some standing and some sitting on benches. They had come to see the big show: a complete eclipse of the Moon—and a Red Moon to boot. The clouds stayed away and the viewing was perfect.
Many of the CM residents who went out that early morning may have learned of the event from a message I had posted on MeadowTalk, the CM residents’ electronic bulletin board. I try to keep up with internet reports of celestial comings and goings; and when something interesting is about to happen, I post a MeadowTalk message indicating the best viewing time and location. Then, the next day, I look for pictures of the event from around the world and post these for the benefit of those who got tangled in the bed sheets and did not manage to make it outside to see the real thing. It has been surprising to me to learn how many people enjoy this kind of astronomy—without instruments and without math. They are obviously seduced by the wonder of the sky at night, always familiar and always changing, just as it was witnessed many thousands of years ago by our ancestors.