This is a big crisis for us. A major omen will appear in the heavens this weekend, and the two websites we rely upon the most are both down. Well, NASA’s website is functioning, but it’s barely being updated because of the government funding shutdown. And then there’s WorldNetDaily, one of the wildest creationist sites in existence and a great source for end-of-the-world predictions. For some reason, their website is totally shut down.
So we turn to National Geographic. Their headline is How to see the last ‘blood moon’ eclipse of the decade. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
In a few nights, sky-watchers across the Americas will have a front-row seat to a rare cosmic event, as three lunar phenomena converge to give rise to what some people are calling a super blood wolf moon. [What?] While that may sound like a song straight out of a 1970s rock opera, it’s actually a term for a type of total lunar eclipse.
During totality, the full moon does not disappear entirely and instead turns a rusty shade of red, earning it the moniker “blood moon.” This lunar eclipse happens to coincide with the wolf moon, the traditional name for the January full moon. What’s more, the moon on January 20 will be unusually close to Earth and so will be slightly bigger and brighter, making it a so-called supermoon.
Ooooooooooooh! That sounds ominous. National Geographic says:
Total lunar eclipses … happen only during a full moon, and only when the sun, Earth, and moon are precisely aligned so that the darkest part of our planet’s shadow completely blankets the lunar disk. This usually happens twice a year, on average, and each total eclipse can be seen from only one hemisphere of Earth.
The last total eclipse of the moon occurred on July 27, 2018, and was visible across Africa and parts of Asia. This year’s total eclipse will be the first to be seen in its entirety in North America in nearly three and half years. Americans missing this one will have to wait until May 26, 2021, to get their next chance at viewing a blood moon.
They also tell us:
Why is it also a super wolf moon? According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Native Americans and colonial Europeans dubbed the January full moon the wolf moon, because wolves in the region would purportedly start howling in hunger due to midwinter paucity. This month’s wolf moon eclipse is even more special because the lunar disk will appear to be slightly larger than usual. The moon will be at perigee — its closest point to Earth — just 59 minutes before the height of the eclipse. This will make the lunar disk appear 13 percent larger and about 16 percent brighter than the average full moon.
Hey — did you notice what they didn’t tell us? Perhaps they’re trying to avoid a panic, or maybe it’s just bad editing, but they don’t give the date for this event. No problem. Your Curmudgeon knows how to Google. Assuming you’re in the Western Hemisphere, it’ll be this Sunday night, 20 January, and because there’s a midnight involved, it extends into early Monday, 21 January.
So now what? Our advice, as always when end-of-the-world events occur, is this: 1. Stay indoors and avoid looking outside. 2. If you have a basement or storm cellar, get into it and don’t come out until daylight. Otherwise, crawl under the bed and stay there. 3. Turn off all electrical appliances, lights, computers, etc. Don’t even use a flashlight. 4. If you have a hoodie, wear it and don’t take it off all night. 5. Avoid all carnal temptations, because at such times one is especially susceptible to the Devil’s influence.
If you remain pure in body and mind, you might survive. If not, we bid you farewell and close with this:
Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.