Monday, July 2, 2007

Lowest Hanging Moon of 2007 Dazzles Us

It is known as the full strawberry moon. That is what everybody was asking me over the weekend. It was brighter than some of the fireworks going off in my neighborhood. John Schanlaub snapped this beautiful shot of it last night. What makes it different than all the other moons of 2007 is that it will hang lower in the sky than any other moon this year. Our nice comfortable weather with high visibilities and mainly clear skies will allow us to check out this phenomenon tonight. Get out and enjoy!

The reason why this moon will stay the lowest in the sky is because of the time of year. The summer solstice of course took place less than two weeks ago. The sun and moon in the sky act like they are teetering on a see-saw. The higher the sun is in the sky on one side of the sky, the lower the moon will be on the other side. So we reap all the benefits of this. What adds to this spectacle is the moon illusion.

The moon illusion will make this moon seem not only like the brightest, but the biggest moon of 2007. Of course all moons are the same size throughout the night and year, but because of the time of year and the moonlight being bent or refracted as it enters our atmosphere it will look about 25% bigger tonight than other moons because it will spend most of its time much closer to the horizon. This is known as the moon illusion. Of course the moon is the same size at the horizon as it is when it is above us, but the moon illusion tricks our brains and will give us quite a sight to delight in. I will explain more about this phenomenon on the news tonight.

Speaking of terrific! What a weekend it was and not only because of the moon! I had a great time at the Columbian Park Zoo re-opening. I have never seen so many people at the Columbian Park Zoo. The zoo has always had a special place in everybody's heart in this community. On Saturday many folks were ecstatic with the new zoo with many reasons to be proud once again. My kids could have stayed all day and did not want to leave. They liked the prairie dog exhibit the best where you can crawl underground just like the prairie dogs. The petting zoo was also a big hit and they loved brushing the miniature horses. The weather was just perfect. Many kids loved the fountains they could climb on and get wet in. Here is a picture of a few kids enjoying the elephant statues.

We would have stayed all day but I had a baby contest to get to at the Warren County Fair. I emceed a wonderful event and started by showing everybody my two oldest babies. It is hard to believe my Megan is no longer 7 pounds, but close to 70 pounds and Abbey is getting ready for 3rd grade. I told all the parents to enjoy the little ones all they can. Those baby stages fly by! I am glad I was not a judge. They had the hard job. But two babies did stand out to me. The contest was based on personality, attire, and appearance. Two of the one year olds blew kisses and waved their hands. I think we found a future fair king and queen and maybe a couple of politicians. Megan Prangley took this picture of just a few of the dozens of cute babies.

The babies were all well behaved and I think none of them cried during the contest which was amazing. The big question now to answer is will we all be crying over the fourth of July forecast. Once again this year we have rain in the forecast. But I do not think tears are necessary. I will tell you why tonight and post the latest July 4th forecast here on the blog this evening. Take care and thanks for reading!

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