Friday, July 31, 2015

How you live -- light pollution

Today's bioregional How you live quiz question aligns nicely with last night's / this morning's full blue moon (blue full moon?).

To what degree does light pollution obfuscate the night sky in your region? (Extra credit if you answer using the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale)

This is one version of a regional Bortle Scale

This link's to a slightly different display (centered on Minneapolis) with the Dark-Sky scale attached. Minnesota has several dark-sky observation sites. The nearest to us is McGregor. The answer to the question is our region includes most of the scale. We live in a 4 to 4.5 on a Bortle Scale, near the border of orange and yellow in this figure.

Blue moons occur with some regularity in song. Elvis Presley sang about two different blue moons. At least, I think they were different.
I saw this morning's full blue moon while dog-walking. It looked pretty much the same as any other full moon. The next blue moon will occur on January 2, 2018. Today, on the other hand, will never come again. So, does that suggest we should photograph our calendars or should we be more mindful of each moment?

The Prediction

By Mark Strand 

That night the moon drifted over the pond,   
turning the water to milk, and under   
the boughs of the trees, the blue trees,   
a young woman walked, and for an instant

the future came to her:
rain falling on her husband’s grave, rain falling   
on the lawns of her children, her own mouth
filling with cold air, strangers moving into her house,

a man in her room writing a poem, the moon drifting into it,   
a woman strolling under its trees, thinking of death,
thinking of him thinking of her, and the wind rising
and taking the moon and leaving the paper dark.
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