Sunday, 4 March 2007

Blood moon and enlightenment

Lunar eclipse - how, © BBC
Lunar eclipse - wowDid anyone else see the lunar eclipse last night? Please say it wasn't just me standing outside freezing my proverbials off to watch the Moon turn red. In case you're wondering what causes this phenomenon, the picture to the left kind of explains it - the Moon falls into the Earth's shadow, and is only lit by the frequencies of light that can skip through the edge of the Earth's atmosphere. Those frequencies are at the red end of the spectrum, so the Moon takes on a reddish-orange hue, as can be seen in the photo to the right. Well I think that's right - it sounds plausible anyway. It might not have quite the wow factor of a solar eclipse but it was pretty impressive nonetheless, and certainly worth standing out in the cold for. Some of the people I was stood watching with remarked that you could quite understand why people in days gone by worshipped moons and stars, and how they would view this as a sign of an angry god. How they chuckled at this, and patted themselves on the back for being so enlightened. Sure, worshipping celestial bodies is patently ridiculous... but no-one thought to ask why it is any more ridiculous than worshipping an omnipotent, omnipresent being who apparently created the world and everything in it in six days? Who's enlightened now?

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