By Julia Barth, Editor-in-Chief
If you had woken up in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and crept outside or looked out your bedroom window, you would’ve seen a magnificent sight. Around 5 a.m. EST, people in the United States were able to see a total lunar eclipse, where our moon was cast in a deep red shadow as the Earth passed in between the sun and the moon.
Luckily, in Buffalo, we had clear skies that night, so anyone who set their alarms for an early morning was able to perfectly see the ruby moon in all of its glory. I didn’t wake up for this occasion, but someone very close to me did. My dad, Steve Barth, who I would label as an “Amateur Astronomer,” awoke with excitement and brought his telescope outside to catch a fuller, clearer glimpse of the moon.
Lucky for all of us, he was able to snap some photos of the moon, and commemorate a rare sight in the world of astronomy. Lunar eclipses happen somewhat often, but seeing one in totality, like we were able to on Tuesday, doesn’t.
So what makes the moon red? You would think that the moon would just appear dark, if, by definition, the Earth is blocking the sun’s light from the moon. But it’s a bit more complicated than that. The light from the sun actually goes around the edges of our planet, and it passes through the dust and clouds of our atmosphere, making the illumination on the moon blood red. It’s pretty fascinating stuff, and the pictures are even cooler.
Having someone in my life who appreciates the moon, the planets and the stars is so important to me. Something about outer space and astronomy makes me feel less alone and more grounded in my reality. All my stress and anxieties melt away because I am awakened to the fact that our world is so big, so monstrous. Not just the Earth, but everything else that exists within the bounds of space of time. It’s too much for any human to properly wrap their minds around, and that’s what I think is comforting about it.
A lunar eclipse happened on Tuesday morning. Many lunar eclipses will happen again. Actually, lunar eclipses will continue happening for years and years and years until the end of time. And we got to see one of them. And people, generations into the future, will get to see one of them. And people, hundreds of years in the past, got to see one of them too. I’m not only reassured, but soothed, by that, and I’ll continue to look up at the sky with my dad, and take stock of what I see. I encourage you all to do the same.