The next Full Moon Picnic will be Tuesday, April 15th from 8:30 - 10:30 pm. Moonrise will be at 9:30. This full moon is called a "blood moon." (See Puzzler below.)
I'll be out of town, so Catherine will be our wonderful hostess guaranteeing a great gathering as always.
April was known by American Indians for the Full Pink Moon for the herb moss pink (which is also known, of course, as wild ground phlox. Less known is that Herb Moss, the original pianist for the band Wild Ground Phlox was called Pink, not because he was gay...although he most definitely was...but because he was missing the end of his left pinkie, so the band shortened his nickname too. April was also the Full Sprouting Grass Moon or the Egg Moon. Indian tribes on the coast called it the Full Fish Moon because that's when shad swam upstream to spawn. "Shad Swam Upstream to Spawn" is also the name of the first rock song by Sha Na Na before they became actually famous.
WHAT: Everyone brings food and drink to share.
WHERE: Pont des Arts. We'll gather towards the middle of the bridge. Nearest metros: Pont Neuf and Louvre-Rivoli.
WHEN: Tue April 15. 8:30 - 10:30 pm. Moonrise visible around 9:30 pm.
WHY: Share one of the most memorable sights in Paris with some of the nicest people around.
WHO: You and your friends.
HOW to find us: Keep your eyes out for a bunch of lunatics eating, drinking an chatting in English and French. No telescope this time.. Check in by cell phone if you can't find us:[masked]
THEME: Vampires and blood red color
PUZZLER: Why is this full moon called a "blood moon" and why do astronomers refer to it as a "Tetrad?"
PUZZLER ANSWER: This full moon will feature a total lunar eclipse (visible in all of North America, but not Europe). Non-scientists often call it a "blood moon" because the moon turns reddish during a total lunar eclipse. Why? (That's the SECOND PUZZLER. See below.) On average there are two lunar eclipses a year, but they're not all total; some are partial eclipses. A Tetrad is when there are four total lunar eclipses in a row as there will be[masked] (all visible from North America). It's actually not that rare. The last Tetrad was[masked] and there will be fifteen more to come this century, so I don't know why it deserves a special term. I'd like to know how often there's a Pentad (my term) or a Sextad (orgy term?)
SECOND PUZZLER ANSWER: (Why is the moon red during a total lunar eclipse?): Because when the moon passes through the Earth's shadow, most of the sunlight reaching the moon passes through the Earth's atmosphere. The longer the distance light travels through our atmosphere the more it "turns" red. Light at the blue end of the spectrum gets scattered more than at the red end. That's why the setting sun looks red (passing horizontally through hundreds of miles of atmosphere) why the sky above looks blue. Why does blue light scatter more? Because it has a shorter wavelength and shorter wavelengths scatter more. Why is that? Because that's the way it is. Now eat up your vegetables and stop asking questions.
ciao for niao,