How Super the Moon…

An almost supermoon

An almost supermoon

I am trying to do my womanly bonding with the moon, really I am. But it’s so complicated (and I can hear guys saying, “well, duh, so are you women”).

There’s that problem of it rising and setting at inconvenient times, either past my bedtime or during the day, when it’s just a cold, white specter in the sky. There’s the problem of it sometimes being reduced to invisibility, a state known as “new moon,” for reasons not clear.

And then there are the clouds. Even in July there can be clouds in Seattle.

But there seem as well to be a host of optical illusions that I simply don’t understand.

For example:

According to the Seattle Times, Saturday, July 12, was the first of three supermoons, so called because the moon looks particularly large because it’s closer to earth than usual. (The other two supermoons this year will be Aug. 10 and Sept. 9.)

At about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 12, I was in downtown Redmond on the City Hall campus—and the moon was enormous, definitely a supermoon. Big, round, golden, so close you could almost reach out and embrace it.

I drove home, a distance of less than 10 miles with an elevation gain of less than 500 feet, and went out on my patio, which is a primo viewing spot for full moons. The moon looked smaller than it had in downtown Redmond. How could that be?

I took its picture nonetheless—and then compared the picture to the pictures I had taken from the same spot the night before, when the moon was almost full and presumably, therefore, only almost super.

But darned if the moon wasn’t bigger in the photos taken the night before—which is why the picture you see here is the almost-supermoon.

There’s doubtless an explanation….



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