hualalai beyond

Kamuela, Hawaii

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lunar eclipse 2007.08.27-28

Five of us lit a fire and settled in for another night sky show. The full moon was almost too bright to look at directly. We laid on our backs and joked about getting a moon burn under all that silvery black and white light. The moon was the diva and she was not going to be upstaged by the usual night circus of constellations and ridiculously over dressed and over jeweled Milky Way. At eleven, act two, she donned a shadow that eventually grew into the phases that would normally take half a month for her to perform. Clouds came in and out to dramatize the transformation process. As her brightness faded, the chorus of stars filled in, and the Milky Way popped out of the darkened sky. Faintly at first,the moon begun to blush, she reflected what she saw, a sunset and a sunrise simultaneously as we, the audience on the dark side of earth, moved directly in front of the sun.

Act three, the climax; she became an orange three dimensional object under a cloudless sky full of stars. Was she imitating the sun or was it Mars? She also reminded some of us of a fish egg or an embryo. It took time for her to move out of the earth’s shadow so she treated us with an amazing and unforgettable performance.

moonbow

moonbow_02.jpg

Yes there is such a thing , very rare , but it does occur. the condition occurs when a bright moon is low in the horizon at the viewer’s back  shining onto a light rain in the distant .  A moonbow is basically a rainbow at night where the source of light is the moon instead of the sun.  This is a rare occurrence because the moon is only bright for a short period, full moon rises after dark, and of course there has to be rain  in front of the viewer while his back is to the moon, but not enough cloud cover to shade the moon.  Waimea , Hawaii is a very good location for moonbow viewing especially on road 250 toward Hawi  due to the Kohala Mountain Ranch running north south, trade winds pile up clouds then sprinkle rain east to west. The moon rises over the mountain then with the right amount of rain and cloud cover, we have a moonbow. There are more moonbow images on my Flickr. Also note that Venus was the brightest i have ever seen.