The lunar eclipse tonight was particularly good from where I was: despite rain earlier in the day, the sky was clear, and the moon is one of the handful of celestial objects bright enough to be visible over London’s absurd light pollution.
I love eclipses for how explicitly they demonstrate the physics of the solar system. They make tangible abstract concepts that rarely cross my mind in daily life. Staring up into the dark sky, seeing this planet’s shadow cast across that distinct lump of rock, I realise that I’m perched precariously on the surface of a spinning, orbiting, precessing ball, travelling through an awful lot of not very much.
The other thing I like about eclipses is the Japanese word for them: 月食 gesshoku means approximately ‘eating of the moon’. I find that quite poetic.