CMMC Featured Letter for September 2021

This is my entry for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge (CMMC).

This month the featured letter is O and Cee requests it must appear in the middle of the word.

I don’t need any more encouragement to share a photo of the MOON πŸŒ•

–⋅ o β™₯ o ⋅–

Full Harvest Moon, September 2021

Although my photo was captured @ 5:05 am, September 22, 2021, a Full Moon can still appear full the day before and the day after when more than 98% of the Moon’s face (or disc) is illuminated.

–⋅ o β™₯ o ⋅–

It seems to me that this supposition needs further explanation.

So, here goes.

Firstly, we get to enjoy a Full Moon when the Sun and the Moon are aligned on opposite sides of the Earth because this results in 100% illumination of the Moon’s face.

Yet some Full Moons are only 99.9% illuminated as seen from the Earth because the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is inclined at an angle of (about) 5Β° in relation to the Earth’s orbital plane*. The Earth’s orbital plane is called the ecliptic – the (great) circle that is the apparent path of the Sun among the constellations during the course of a year.

When (not merely if) a Full Moon occurs and the Moon is above or below the ecliptic, our view of the Moon is at an angle that diminishes its illumination percentage by just a fraction.

Secondly, consider that the Moon is in constant motion as it dances around the Earth and, because of this, technically speaking a Full Moon lasts for only a split second – a blink of an eye – a brief and fleeting moment of time.

Finally, the exact timing of a Full Moon can be during the day in some parts of the Earth.

Think about all of this for a minute.

–⋅ o β™₯ o ⋅–

  • Does this Moon Look Full?

    This is actually an image of the Moon at less than 100% illumination, however, (I’m guessing) your eyes can hardly tell this is actually a Waning Gibbous Moon.

    That can be a good thing.

    (Trust me.)

    As a full-blooded lunatic, I’m delighted that I can hardly tell there’s a minuscule of missing illumination.

–⋅ o β™₯ o ⋅–

In my location here in the southern hemisphere, the precise time in September when the Moon reached full was @ 9:54 am on September 21, and undoubtedly, it was not visible here at that time.

I hope my photo displays that the Moon still looked full some 20+ hours later.

I’m delighted that it can be tricky to tell the difference between a Full Moon and the last stage of a Waxing Gibbous Moon or the beginning stages of a Waning Gibbous Moon because . . .

. . . even given somewhere between less than 100% illumination and more than 98% illumination, the Moon appears to be full, and . . .

. . . we get to enjoy a Full Moon for three nights in a row.

(Something this lunatic enjoys immeasurably.)

And that orange colour? That’s just dust particles in the atmosphere 😊

–⋅ o β™₯ o ⋅–

* The ecliptic is the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun. From the perspective of an observer on Earth, the Sun’s movement around the celestial sphere over the course of a year traces out a path along the ecliptic against the background of stars. (Source)

Author: Clare

Ever-expanding one star at a time, my cosmos is a galaxy of thoughts and creativity where you can find poetry, short stories, photography and so much more.

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