Partial Lunar Eclipse

As I left work last night I was amazed at the sight of the newly rising full moon as it appeared so large on the horizon.

I always thought the June full moon was known as the Dyad Moon due to dyad (not to be confused with dryad) meaning “two” or “pair” and therefore relating to June’s astrological sun sign, Gemini (the twins). However, on a little googling research, it appears the larger consensus is that May’s moon is the Dyad Moon and June’s is the Strawberry Moon or Flower Moon. I have tried, on many occasions, to establish the “correct” names but each time I try I get more confused as there are many crossovers and different traditions. I’ve now realised there is no “right” answer as the Moon will have different meanings at different times of the year for different peoples in different places. How did it take me that long to realise? Anyway, I digress…

It wasn’t until later in the evening that Mat mentioned the imminent transit of Venus occuring on the 6 June 2012 (where Venus travels across the face of the Sun from Earth’s perspective) and for some reason I got it into my head that we would see the effects of this on the Moon. As we headed into the kitchen to look (the kitchen faces East) we saw that there was indeed a little bite taken out of the right side, like the picture below (taken form Wikimedia Commons):

Partial Lunar Eclipse, 4 June 2012
Partial Lunar Eclipse, 4 June 2012

Following another little bit of googling I now realise this was the partial lunar eclipse which was the prequel to the transit of Venus happening today, or tomorrow (Wednesday) if, like me, you are in Australia. I am also disappointed to find out that apparently a lunar eclipse always accompanies a solar eclipse, either two weeks before or after; sadly I missed the one in May.

So, anyone that is interested and was previously unaware, keep your eyes peeled for the transit of Venus – though not literally, I hasten to add, as it is not safe to look at the sun directly. I’m guessing it will be a case of acquiring some special sun-viewing glasses for the spectacle.

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