Moon gaze for more than 308 nights a year. One of the many advantages of ex-patriate living in the Greek Island of Crete, is that the majority of night skies are crystal clear through a telescope.
Crete is blessed with little night sky light pollution.
Historically, the monthly cycle of the Moon compared to the annual cycle of the Sun's path has been linked to the menstrual cycle of women down through the centuries. The female moon is exemplified in Greek mythology with the famed Greek Goddesses you may know as Phoebe and Selene. Later, the Roman equivalents were named Luna and Diana. In the early 1300's in Southern Europe, the cult figure of Madonna Oriente appeared.
Yet in much earlier ages including Ancient Crete and other Mediterranean Basin civilizations the male moon dominated with many masculine Lunar deities. This was the case in the Minoan period when the half man, half bull "Minotaur" was revered by the peoples of those days who were the forefathers of today's Cretans.
Also in Ancient Greece can be found the origins of the Werewolf. Werewolves also known as lycanthropes from the Greek: λυκάνθρωπος, λύκος (licos - wolf) and άνθρωπος (anthropos - human,man), are mythological or folkloric humans with the ability to behave in a wolf-like manner. This later led in more modern times to the labelling of people who seem to behave erratically around the time of a Full Moon to be likened to a Werewolf.
Curiously, the Moon's impact on Latin speaking earthly inhabitants led to words such as "lunacy", "lunatic", and "loony", derived from 'Luna'. These folkloric words point to the Full Moon also, as being the cause of periodic insanity.
We welcome visual shots -- by professionals or amateur photographers alike, as seen through the telescopic lens.
* May 20: Annular Solar Eclipse. Not visible in UK, Greece, Cyprus or rest of Europe, only North America and Asia-Pacific. Annular SolarEclipse describes how the Sun remains visible as a bright ring around the moon.
* June 04: Partial Lunar Eclipse is not viewable in Europe, only in parts of Asia, Australia, Pacific and Americas.
* Nov 13: Total Solar Eclipse is nly visible in South Pacific, Australia/New Zealand and South America.
* Nov 28: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse is visible in Greece, Cyprus and UK after Moon rises, plus most of Europe except Portugal.
A Penumbral Eclipse shows a greyish shadow rather than a black one.
Times in Universal Time (UT = GMT, Greenwich Mean Time)
Crete is on EET, which is UT/GMT+2hrs in Wintertime and UT/GMT+3 in Summertime
|New Moon||First Quarter||Full Moon||Last Quarter|
|Jan 01 06:15||Jan 09 07:30||Jan 16 09:08|
|Jan 23 07:39||Jan 31 04:10||Feb 07 21:54||Feb 14 17:04|
|Feb 21 22:35||Mar 01 01:22||Mar 08 09:40||Mar 15 01:25|
|Mar 22 14:37||Mar 30 19:41||Apr 06 19:19||Apr 13 10:50|
|Apr 21 07:18||Apr 29 09:58||May 06 03:35||May 12 21:47|
|May 20 23:47 A||May 28 20:16||Jun 04 11:12 P||Jun 11 10:41|
|Jun 19 15:02||Jun 27 03:30||Jul 03 18:52||Jul 11 01:48|
|Jul 19 04:24||Jul 26 08:56||Aug 02 03:27||Aug 09 18:55|
|Aug 17 15:54||Aug 24 13:54||Aug 31 13:58 B||Sep 08 13:15|
|Sep 16 02:11||Sep 22 19:41||Sep 30 03:19||Oct 08 07:33|
|Oct 15 12:02||Oct 22 03:32||Oct 29 19:50||Nov 07 00:36|
|Nov 13 22:08 T||Nov 20 14:31||Nov 28 14:46 Pe||Dec 06 15:32|
|Dec 13 08:42||Dec 20 05:19||Dec 28 10:21|
Notes: A=Annular Solar Eclipse, T=Total Solar Eclipse, P=Partial Lunar Eclipse, Pe=Penumbral Lunar Eclipse,
B= Blue Moon
In Greek (lang:EL): Moon = φεγγάρι (feng-gari) or σελήνη (seleenee), full moon = πανσέληνος (panseleenos)
Brits in Crete has SPECIAL PERMISSION of NASA for this re-publishing of information. Algorithms used in predicting the phases of the Moon as well as eclipses are based on Jean Meeus' Astronomical Algorithms (Willmann-Bell, Inc., Richmond, 1991). All calculations are by Fred Espenak, GSFC Planetary Systems Laboratory and he assumes full responsibility for their accuracy. The Planetary Systems Laboratory is located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA.
REMINDER: Note in Your Diary -- The next BLUE MOON in the heavens will take place on Full Moon on August 31, this year (2012). A blue moon is the second full moon during a given month. It generally has a more pale feature to its look, hence the color or mood described in its title. A year when there is no blue moon is called a "Metonic Year". The last Blue Moon was Dec 31, 2009.