Blood Moon

It could be the title of a horror movie or the name of the latest Stephen King novel, but if nothing else, “blood moon” is the name of a lunar eclipse that could be seen in July from several parts of the world. In western Europe, we couldn’t see all of the phases of the eclipse, but we were able to see the most spectacular: the totality.

All week, all across the media, they were building up to the the event, giving a bit more information each day. If you checked your Facebook profile, you always found a post telling you the best way to see the eclipse, the best hour to see it, and tips for experiencing this awesome phenomenon.

When Friday came, my partner and I were still on the fence about going to see the longest lunar eclipse of the century. Assuming we did go, we didn’t know where we would watch it. Either way, we didn’t wanted to miss the boat.

On Friday afternoons, we usually go to a pub before dinner to have a beer after a long week of work. We decided to go there and order a couple of sandwiches in a bar next door while we had a beer in the pub. After that we’d go to see the eclipse in a field just outside Requena. When we got to the pub, we ran into a bunch of friends and we told them our plans to go to observe the blood moon. Turns out they didn’t want to miss the boat either!

The total eclipse would happen between 9:30 and 11:13, according to the news, with the height of the action at 10:21. This timing could vary depending on where you were on the peninsula, as the moon would rise that night at 9:07 in Barcelona and at 9:28 in Madrid. I don’t know exactly when we arrived at the chosen place, but when we got there, the moon was completely red and dark.

Photo provided by Baldo Padilla

It almost looked like the moon wasn’t covered, but it was. After about 30 minutes we could see how a little part of the moon began to shine strongly under our attentive gaze. I imagine it was like that in all of the towns and cities where the eclipse could be observed. Little by little the light was becoming ever bigger and bigger and the night began to be brighter until the red and dark area of the moon was gone completely. Awesome!

Photo provided by Nerea Díaz Cambón

You might have close friends who you see on a regular basis–you know about each other’s day-to-day lives and you can count on those friends for anything. And then sometimes you have friends that have been your friends forever; you don’t spend as much time with them, but you know that they will be there whenever you need them. All of them were there with us observing the moon and listening to the music that we used to listen to when we were 18.

That night marked an astrological coincidence as the earth was interposed between the sun and the moon. Another coincidence also occurred when we had that chance encounter with several friends and ended up looking at the moon in the same place where we all used to spend summer nights 20 years ago.

Thanks to Nerea Díaz Cambón

and Baldo Padilla

for their wonderful photos.

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