March 18, 2016

Moonlight Shadows

In the discussion about "dark sky" protection, most people only focus on the ability to see the really faint stuff: dim stars, deep sky objects, and the texture of the Milky Way. Those aspects are surely important, but I feel that moonlight--because it also interferes with seeing faint astronomical objects--is all too often overlooked. I love walking in the bright light cast by the moon as much as I love resolving a distant galaxy or star cluster, and the pure experience of moonlight is as threatened by glare from artificial light as our ability to see the faint stuff is. Next week I lead my first Bryce Canyon Full Moon Walk, and I look forward to guiding people though an experience of moonlight unlike anything that's possible in most of our urban/suburban communities. Wherever you are, as the moon is waxing this week, I invite you to find a dark sky nearby and enjoy the natural light cast by our nearest cosmic neighbor. You might be surprised by how it alters your perspective, and transforms the familiar into the sublime.

3x5, Zig & Sharpie.

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