Aim for the Moon – Albuquerque Journal

In terms of rarity or rarity, Lunar Eclipses aren’t exactly that either.

Yet the very act of the moon disappearing from the evening sky as the earth passes in front of the sun, casting a shadow that extinguishes our trusty night light, has been filled with myths and legends dating back eons.

Of these, it has been suggested that eating or drinking during the event is a definite no-no, as both have been suggested to spoil with the passing of the shadow.

Likewise, it is the perfect time to wash away the sins accumulated since the last eclipse, so it is the perfect time to take a bath, eliminating all that negativity.

Whatever the belief on the phenomenon, it is undeniable that it creates an extremely special aura, which can be appreciated in a place imbued with similar aspects all by itself.

This year’s full eclipse, May 15, happens to coincide with the first of the monthly full moon nights at White Sands National Park, when gates and grounds will remain open until 11 p.m. Backcountry camping has still not been restored to the park. in the Tularosa Basin near Alamogordo. The park will have extended hours on the full moon of each month through October.

“There is nothing unusual about the timing of this lunar eclipse,” White Sands interpretive director Kelly Carroll wrote in an email. “A total lunar eclipse occurs with a full moon approximately every 2.5 years.”

And unlike a solar eclipse, which requires special precautions to avoid permanent eye damage, a lunar eclipse requires nothing more than a comfortable place to enjoy the spectacle, which begins shortly before 8 a.m., with the total eclipse occurring around 10 p.m.

“Any comfortable and safe outdoor location will be a great viewing spot,” Carroll wrote. “But watching the dunes in White Sands National Park can be a bit more special.”

In White Sands, nestled in the vast, dark rural New Mexico, the stark solitude of gleaming white gypsum dunes glistens under the full moon, then gradually fades as the Earth’s veil slowly nibbles away at the moon.

“Although lunar eclipses are not uncommon, they are unique and have always been special to humans,” Carroll wrote. “Seeing this wonderful event at White Sands can add to the experience.”

New York-based multimedia journalist Tiffani Amo wrote this about her experience at White Sands during a lunar eclipse several years ago.

“When all the color was finally washed out of the day, we waited for darkness… and it didn’t come! As the moon rose higher and higher in the sky, the dunes became brighter and brighter. It was as if someone was adjusting the dimmer of an overhead light. The moon shone and painted our shadows on the sand the same way the sun would on a sunny summer day.

An accomplished photographer, Amo had planned to spend the night capturing the moon in its disappearing and appearing phases, but unfortunately his newly purchased tripod came out of the box in pieces.

“I had to do a bit of improvisation,” she said. “I didn’t get as many pictures as I had hoped. You definitely need a tripod, and you definitely want the camera you’re using to have long exposure shots. It’s going to be dark and again you want to let in as much light as possible. »

Additionally, she regretfully added, “Test out all your gear before you get there and set up camp.”

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