Other Tales
Moon - Brightest Closest 21/22 December 1999
Moon shots

Brightest Moon in 133 years? News from the Editors of Sky and Telescope Magazine
Brightest moon since you left Landour|| Richard Smith || Wed Dec 8, 1999
Re: Brightest moon since you left Landour || Bonnie || Wed Dec 8, 1999
Re: Brightest moon since you left Landour || winles || Wed Dec 15, 1999
Moon miracle || Gil Osgood || Tue Dec 21, 1999
Re: Moon miracle || Bonnie McGraw || Tue Dec 21, 1999
Re: Moon miracle || Gil Osgood || Tue Dec 21, 1999
MOON || Joanne G. Gray || Tue Dec 21, 1999
Moon || Richard Smith || Wed Dec 22, 1999
Re: MOON || ledavisbr- || Wed Dec 22, 1999
Re: Moon miracle || Thomas Robison || Wed Dec 22, 1999
Moon Happy || Philip McEldowney || Wed Dec 22, 1999
Re: Moon Happy || Kathleen M. Horton || Wed Dec 22, 1999
Re: Moon Happy || Philip McEldowney || Wed Dec 22, 1999
My Sloppy work || Bonnie McGraw || Wed Dec 22, 1999
Solstice full moon || Dale || Thurs Dec 23, 1999
Re: Solstice full moon || Philip McEldoweny || Thurs Dec 23, 1999
Re: Solstice full moon || Kathleen M. Horton || Thurs Dec 23, 1999

Click any moon shot below for bigger version
Moon Charlottesville 21 Dc 1999 Brightest in 133 years? Moon Charlottesville 22Dc99 9:55 pm Moon Charlottesville  22Dc99 9:56 pm
Subject: Brightest moon since you left Landour
From: Richard Smith
6:12 PM 8 Dec 1999 Wed

Do you recall how conscious we used to be of the phases of the moon? We would challenge ourselves to walk the 'eyebrow' path with flashlight off on the darkest night or go out along the Tehri Road to Ashton Court or the First Baniya on an October full moon and look out over the slope of glistening white 'flint' stone debris to see the Haunted House and the cliffs below it almost as if it was broad daylight. Well, a friend has pointed out that December 22, this year we'll have an especially bright full moon...

BRIGHT MOON! Lovers, take note! (Also from Barb M.) "FIRST FULL MOON ON WINTER SOLSTICE This year will be the first full moon this century to occur on the winter solstice, Dec. 22, commonly called the first day of winter. Since a full moon on the winter solstice occurs in conjunction with a lunar perigee (point in the moon's orbit that is closest to Earth), the moon will appear about 14% larger than it does at apogee (the point in its elliptical orbit that is farthest from the Earth). Since the Earth is also several million miles closer to the sun at this time of the year than in the summer, sunlight striking the moon is about 7% stronger making it brighter. Also, this will be the closest perigee of the Moon of the year, since the moon's orbit is constantly deforming.

If the weather is clear and there is a snow cover where you live, it is believed that even car headlights will be superfluous. On December 21st. 1866 the Lakota Sioux took advantage of this combination of occurrences and staged a devastating retaliatory ambush on soldiers in the Wyoming Territory.

In laymen's terms it will be a super bright full moon, much more than usual, AND it hasn't happened this way for 133 years! Our ancestors 133 years ago saw this. Our descendants 100 or so years from now will see this again.

Remember, this will happen December 22, 1999....."

The probability is about 1 in 10 that I, Barbara or anyone else Western Washington will have enough break in the clouds to see it. Tom, night-time cross-country skiing should be fabulous in Eastern/Central Washington! Gil, I suppose your odds are about 1 in 5 in Eugene? I hope to enjoy it vicariously by reading a glowing report of the event in these pages on 12/23! Maybe a moonlit photograph in Phil's website? Dick

Subject: Re: Brightest moon since you left Landour (lunitics)
From: Bonnie McGraw
8:14 pm 8 Dec 1999 Wed

What a bunch of "lunatics" we all were.
Thank you Miss Marley for expanding our vocabularies by learning about Latin derivations.I'm often amused looking back to think about how as a 12 or 13 year oldmy vocabularly included exotic words like fenestration and pecuniary.
Story time:In late October or early November of our sophomore year I was hospitalized at Landour for the third time that semester--that time with chicken pox.I was put in an isolation room all by myself. I was not allowed any visitors or any books or anything to while away the time with. (The day I was released, I was required to sit outside the hospital for several hours with my personal effects strewn across the hospital lawn so that they would be "decontaminated from disease" by sunshine.)After the fever subsided along about the 3rd day, other than the itching, I felt fine. With nothing to do but stare at the walls for three weeks, I was about ready to go stark raving mad.The week before I was admitted Barbie Judy's brother under similar circumstances had climbed out of a hospital window and returned to the hostel.I considered climbing out the window and escaping also, but girls just didn't do things like that...then.About a week before I was released from captivity, one of the chuts was put in the room with me. She was probably 8 or 9 years old.The poor kid was probably more scared than I was frustrated.She babbled incessantly her childish talk, driving the sophisticated sophomore absolutely bonkers.To amuse myself I tried terrifying her by telling and inventing ghost stories (I never was any good at story telling --I always mess up the punch lines etc.)For several nights there was brilliant moonshine illuminating our room (That's what's precipitated this rambling)I vaguely remember telling her that because the moon was shining upon her she would become a lunatic!After all, the word "luna" means moon.Therefore anyone exposed to moonlight would become a lunatic.Quite a non sequitur, but it was entertainment to me to scare her. Why was I so cruel to the poor kid?Because older kids were/are always cruel to younger kids? Sad isn't it that that kind of cruelty seemed to have been the norm during the years I was at Woodstock.Initiation rites were part and parcel of that cruelty. THe class that initiated us was harsher than most; when we got to be seniors werepeated that cruelty and called it fun. I hope such cycles have been broken at Woodstock.All too many colleges still continue sometimes blatantly and sometimes surreptitiously with outlandish initiation rites that lead to not only deaths but undoubtedly misery for vulnerable freshmen. Well, so much for my "mea culpa" for this evening!
Dick, I hope you thoroughly enjoy the brilliant moonbeams that usher out the millenium.

Subject: Re: Brightest moon since you left Landour
From: winles
11:10 am, 15 Dec 1999 Wed

Dick, you just solved my problem!I was trying to decide what night would be the best for our neighbourhood carol sing.Of course!! Dec. 22nd!!Armed with all the info re. the full moon,winter solstice,lunar perigees and such, I easlily persuaded ' the gang' that it would be the most marvelous night of the year to be out and about, singing in the neighbourhood.Cross your fingers forclear skies and lots of fresh snow.Thanks, Dick !Winn

Subject: Moon miracle
From: Gil Osgood
5:24 PM Tue 21 Dec

I've just experienced a minor miracle! The sky over western Oregon, which 9 times out of 10 would be overcast at this time of year, is clear and I just saw the moon which is at its closest approach to earth in 133 years tonight and will be its brightest in 133 years tomorrow night (or maybe it's the other way around). It is glorious! I hope you can all see it. I remember once in Landour trying to read a newspaper by moonlight and I think I could almost do it tonight if I could just get away from the city lights! Go out and take a look tonight or tomorrow night if the weather allows in your area.

Subject: Re: Moon miracle
From: Bonnie McGraw
7:53 PM Tue 21 Dec 1999

I've marvelled at it last couple of nightshere in Pennsylvania. We had a crystal clear starlit/moonlit night for Christmas carolling on Sunday. I just went outside to take a look again.Heavy clouds are moving in for the snow predicted for the next couple of days, but there are a few breaks in the clouds as they go roaring by. The moon is setting the clouds to glowing where they're not really thick.Beautiful, beautiful sight.They're predicting a white Christmas for us this year.I always have mixed feelings about that.I've gotten so that I love clean snow, but it never stays that way very long.I also pine for days of yore when we went swimming in tropical waters on Christmas DAy.Merry Christmas to you all.

Back to the top.

Subject: Re: Moon miracle
From: Gil Osgood
9:28 PM Tue 21 Dec 1999

I have just tried again the experiment of reading a newspaper by moonlight.I was able to read the headlines and subheadings but couldn't quite make out the smallest type.However, I was able to read with some difficulty the same size but slightly darker text of a Scientific American article!I suspect that if I had stayed outside long enough to let my eyes become completely dark adapted I would have been able to read the small type in the newspaper too!I envy you your white Christmas, Bonnie.Snow is rather rare in this area, usually a couple of inches once or twice a winter, but in the last three or four years we haven't gotten even that much.I'm inclined to believe this is due to global warming though I can't prove it.It nice to think that wherever our far flung class may be the same bright moon shines on us all.
On another topic entirely, I've been hearing ....

Subject: MOON
From: Joanne G. Gray
10:40 PM Tue 21 Dec

The moom was impressive as promised last night.Actually the 20th we were in the village and it seemed even brighter there.It will still be bright the 24th--which we'll spend in the village "on our eyes." (Meaning with our eyes opened--to spend the night awake.)After an evening of skits, and singing, we will drink strong green tea and dance through the night.

Subject: Moon
From: Richard Smith
12:44 AM Wed 22 Dec

Right on, Gil!

This afternoon and early evening the moon was clear and brilliant and Marcia, Dana (daughter) and I took a stroll to enjoy both the moon and the decorated homes.

Forecast is for a high pressure condition the next few days, so maybe we'll see the moon at full on Wednesday, after all.

Mixed feelings - this has been a wet, cold year and we're just a couple of inches shy of this century's record rainfall in 1913 - shame to put up with all this and not have a new record! But this has already become the wettest five-years of this century for our neighborhood.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Dick

Subject: Re: MOON
From: ledavisbr-
8:17 AM Wed 22 Dec

O Joie:

I hope the green tea tastes differently than Japan. After two weeks in Japan, I swear they had fish scales in theirs.

Merry Christmas


Subject: Re: Moon miracle
From: Thomas Robison
9:41 AM Wed 22 Dec 1999

Alas, Eastern Washington is socked in with Fog!!
Tom & Sandra Robison

Back to the top.

Subject: Moon Happy
From: Philip McEldowney
9:43 AM Wed 22 Dec 1999

From Philip Mc

As Dick suggested, I made a graphic of the moon last night; see it at


I'll also append it to the very bottom of this message.

I join others in sending my holiday greetings - Happy Holidays and have a wonderful new Millennium!

for more, click on anyone in the photo below, or on anyone at this web page


Attachment (image/gif)hog5kcp.gif

Attachment (image/jpeg)moon21d99.jpg

Subject: Re: Moon Happy
From: Kathleen M. Horton
9:55 AM Wed 22 Dec 1999

Your moon, Phil, is black, black, black, with a red border!!

Happy Holidays special friends!!


Subject: Re: Moon Happy
From: Philip McEldowney
10:14 AM Wed 22 Dec 1999

That's right - that's how the moon looked in Charlottesville!

--Philip Mc

Subject: My Sloppy work
From: Bonnie McGraw
10:35 PM Wed 22 Dec 1999

You got me on sloppy scholarship! Mea culpa. I got my "Upper Rooms" mixed up. Acts 1:13,14 tells us Mary was there in the Upper Room of Pentecost, not of the Last Supper. It drove me wild trying to find what it was I was remembering, and then finally figured that if it wasn't in the Gospels, it had to be in either Acts or one of Paul's accounts -- then it wasn't too hard to track down. I've also discovered another goof. It's John that tells about Mary at the cross and Jesus speaks to the unidentified, but "Beloved disciple" about caring for Mary. So -- probably wasn't Peter, was more likely John..
I must be more careful!!
The sky was clear tonight and the moon absolutely gorgeous. We got a dusting of snow last night that melted quickly in the morning.
Merry Christmas

Subject: Solstice full moon
From: "Dale K.A Finlayson"
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 13:39:44

I was intrigued to learn about this and passed it on to everyone I could think of.

Tuesday night I saw a wonderful, deep gold, almost-full moon rising between a small break in the trees beyond my kitchen window. It just hung there in the dark sky, huge and beautiful. It got whiter and brighter as it rose in the sky. The next morning I heard the best time to have been looking at it was at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, presumably because it was then low on the horizon and nearly full, though I think it would have been much as I saw it rising, on the other side of the sky. But I had other things on my mind at that point!

Last night (22nd) I didn't think we were going to see much at all, as it was raining and clouded over. But by 9 p.m. (when today's paper said the moon was at its perigee -- I'm throwing that word around now!) it was clearing and for the rest of the night the moon was bright and beautiful. Don't think I could have read much more than the headlines, however. We didn't have any snow to enhance the brightness. But it was wonderful. Today is clear, and if the predicted bad weather doesn't come in from Ireland, I'm going to watch for the moonrise again.

Thank you for this information, and Happy Christmas (as they say here) and a Merry Millennium to all of you.

Love, Dale

Back to the top.

Subject: Re: Solstice full moon
From: Philip McEldowney
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 12:20 PM

Dale, sounds like you had some good views; as have others on various continents and islands.

In Virginia, the 21st evening was all clouded over, but last night it cleared up and we also had a marvellous moon! One of my videocamera shots is appended below. Two pictures of the full moon graced the front page of my local paper this morning.

It was bright, bright, bright, but unlikely enough to read below subheadlines, as Gil mentioned.

My videocamera would not focus on it, even manual attempts did not work. So the result is just a white blob; our view, naked-eyed and binoculars though, showed all the details of the Rabbit in the Moon.

I looked for, but did not find a livecam shot of the moon on the Internet, but ended up finding a graphic of the moon at perigee and apogee along with an article "Brightest in 133 years?" in Sky and Telescope magazine of this Dec 1999 month. I append a graphic of that, too, and the place you can click on to get a larger view, the article, and some of our discussion.

My cat, Jadoo (Magic), was very excited that his two humans were somehow outside at night where he often is. He was rubbing, rubbing, rubbing, up against us, AND up against the tripod legs - not good, but funny, for our video taking attempts.

Whoops, its almost Christmas - got to wrap those gifts. Merry --Philip Mc

For all the graphics, and some of our Class59 discussion of Brightest Moon, click on it under Other Tales, at

See the moon in Charlottesville, Va, 22 Dec 1999, evening at

And an article on "Brighest?" at
and the graphic of the full moon in perigee and apogee, with clear moon details, at

Other tales - anything else
Other Tales.
Tales of Class of '59

Have you heard?. .

Brighest Moon Dec 1999
Thanksgiving 1999
Tales of India during 1938 by Mr. Robert L. Williams
Tales told and messages in March/April 1998.
Jack Day's 1998 trip back to Samatra and Indonesia with his father
Cooking Tales - Indian recipes, including Chris J's 4 Desi Khana receipes
Philip McEldowney's M.A. Thesis (1966) on the Pindaris of Central India.
Back to the top.
Return to tales of the Class of '59.

Back to the top.

Subject: Re: Solstice full moon
From: "Kathleen M. Horton"
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 12:48 pm

Much better, Phil!!

I took a picture last evening about 6:30 PM. Amazing to me how high the moon was in the sky at that time.

Back to the top.

Return to Class59 page OR Other tales

Webbed by Philip McEldowney
Last update: Thursday, 23-Dec-1999 13:11:24 EST.
Count: 6,212