Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Night of the Big Moon; End of Winter

Fuzzy photo of the perigee moon rising
over our house Saturday.
By Sherrie Spangler

All week I waited for Saturday's moon rise. 
It was to be not only a FULL MOON,
 but a super "PERIGEE MOON,"
a celestial event far rarer than the famed BLUE MOON.
And I love blue moons, as you can see
by some of my moon quilts:

"Under a Blue Moon,"
art quilt by Sherrie Spangler

It also was the last full moon of winter,
which officially ended this afternoon. (Yeah!!!)

"After Katrina," a small art quilt.

"Moon Rise at Sunset,"
quilt collage by Sherrie Spangler

Here's the scoop on Saturday's super moon, according to news sources and NASA:
Full moons look different because of the elliptical shape of the moon's orbit. When it's at perigee, the moon is about 31,000 miles closer to Earth than when it's at the farthest point of its orbit, known as apogee. Perigee moons appear about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than moons that occur on the apogee side.

"The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993," said Geoff Chester with the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington. The next one won't be until 2029. "I'd say it's worth a look," he said.

The best view was supposed to be to the east near sunset, so I was out, following Geoff's advice ... and it didn't start to peek through our tall trees until hours later. In the meantime, I drove to all of the high points near our home, hoping for a spectacular view. After an hour, I gave up and got an iced mocha before the coffee place closed, then went home and listened to NPR's Saturday blues show which appropriately featured MOON songs.

"Full Moon Over Turtle Island,"
which I made a long time ago.

Finally, after about a dozen trips outside with the camera, a magnificent white moon rose through the trees. I swear I heard coyotes and owls. Since I don't like messing with camera settings, I shot it on auto with no tripod and sort of like the eerie effect.



ellen gets crafty said...

Love all of your moon quilts. What a great series.

Sherrie Spangler said...

Thanks Ellen!