Tag Archives: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Once in a Blue Moon

Here are some rarities that can happen in one night – or “last night” if we really care about specifics:

  1. Total Lunar Eclipse
  2. Blood Moon
  3. Both my children and myself in the same house at the same time for a whole night (entirely unrelated to 1 & 2)
  4. Getting both teenagers up and in the garden at 03:46 to stare into the night sky in time to witness the full eclipse by 04:00.
  5. Standing alone in the garden at 03:47 questioning my existence as parent and educator, and being forced to face hard truths about my own interest in rare lunar phenomena and my ability to be easily riled by the media.

On topic – Sometime between 04:30 and 05:00 I re-awoke and managed to catch a glimpse of the Blood Moon as I was chasing a rat out of the house that the cat had brought me – not the “gift of new life” I was led to believe the night of rare lunacy was to bring, but nevertheless it was magnificent. The moon I mean. The rodent was not of the magnificent variety unless we are talking size, which I suppose we are given the moons visibility from the earth.

In any case, back on topic I even managed for a second time that night to get the one child I had woken during that brief period of close-to whispered hysteria, to glance up into the sky and actually grunt in approval.

I believe that piquing your children’s interest in science and astronomy whatever their age, circumstance or apparent reluctance, and regardless of your own level of interest, can only be what I, and I’m sure many others the world over would call Responsible Parenting. Despite the fact that neither of them have any recollection of ever leaving their beds, I have no doubt that with time and perhaps undisclosed hypnotherapy they will come to cherish the memory of that minute of stunned silence as much I do.

Unlike this man.

Resist the Hype? Acclaimed scientist or not, he may understand quantum physics better than I ever could (not for lack of trying), but he clearly has no children and is therefore not familiar with the rare phenomenon of successfully pulling off early morning, outdoor, fun parental spontaneity and togetherness with your own teenage boys – albeit in the face of yet another possible apocalypse, this time brought on by the earth casually stepping in front of the moon and blocking his sun.

Still, what only parenting can teach you about rare moments such as these, is that the moon could be blue, blood, totally eclipsed and having a sleepover on Mars at the same time and it’d be common in comparison.

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