September’s Mulberry Harvest Moon

Happy September Moon

Welcome to Issue 9 of Volume VIII of Earth, Moon and Stars!

IN THIS ISSUE
(click any of these section links)

WHAT’S COOKIN’

FULLNESS
   The moon will become full Friday, September 16, at 19:05 UT, correspondingly earlier in time zones west of the Prime Meridian, later in time zones to the east. (See my December 2014 issue for some clarification about UT-Universal Time.)

  Because technical fullness will occur this time in the early evening at the Prime Meridian, Ms. Luna will appear fullest Friday night just about everywhere. Folks just east of the International Date Line (e.g. Midway Island, Hawaii, Bora Bora) will see about an equally full moon both Thursday and Friday nightsCheck Seasonal Calendar below for exact times in some representative time zones.

BLAH NON-ECLIPSE and INTERESTING 2017 ECLIPSES
   While some astrologers are ascribing great significance to it, the actual upcoming penumbral eclipse you may have heard/read about will not be worth doing anything about. We devote a few column-inches to it and what “penumbral” means. Then we explore much more interesting eclipses coming in 2017 in Skywatch.

FOLKLORE
   Squinting just right, we make out not one, but two Black Moons in a row! See Folklore for the skinny.

MOON NAMES
   Continuing the “berry” theme from last month, this time it’s the Mulberry Moon. But we can’t ignore that it’s also Harvest Moon time again.

   Check out Moon Names for the full story and some neat pics.
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MOON MOTION QUIZ
   Continuing the journey we began in our July issue, here’s the next installment in my attempt to pique your interest in how our nearest sky neighbor shakes, rattles, and rolls. As noted in July when we began this new adventure, since the details of this rather large subject can become complex, we’re approaching it in small, simple steps. Here’s the quiz question for this month:

.Q: Does the Moon’s orbit circle the Earth’s equator?

Click Moonmotion to see the somewhat unusual (by comparison) answer.

JUST SAYIN’
   In this next installment of my new personal opinion section Just Sayin’, I continue the theme of All of Us with another inspirational song, this one by Alicia Keys.

THE MOON IN ART and SONG
   Van Gogh painted his famous “Mulberry Tree” during the last year of his life. Check it out in our Moon Art section.
.   I actually found three songs about the Mulberry Moon. Although I doubt any of them will ever top any charts, still one of them may appeal to you. Also fun “Monkberry Moon Delight” by Paul and Linda McCartney. Click Mulberry Moon songs to jump to this section.

MOON-RELATED CELEBRATIONS
   The full moon determines the date of the Mid-Autumn Festival in China and many other Asian countries.

ASTROLOGY
   New (to this blog) astrologers Æterna and Donna Greco offer us some deep emotional insights at this full moon in Pisces in Astrology. 

HUMOR
  In continuation of our new Humor section, Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) beseeches the moon to fulfill his agenda.

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SEASONAL CALENDAR
Moon Dates and Times

Sept’s 1st new moon*      Thursday Sept 1 09:03 UT; 5:03 am EDT; 2:03 am PDT
.                                             Thursday Sept 1 12:03 pm IDT; 5:03 pm AWST/PHT;  7:03 pm AEST
.                                             Wednesday August 31 11:03 pm HAST
.                                             (*Depends on time zone. See “Folklore” next section for “Black Moon” details.)

September’s full moon    Friday Sept 16 19:05 UT; 9:05 am HAST; 12:05 pm PDT; 3:05 pm EDT; 10:05 pm IDT
.                                             Saturday Sept 17 3:05 am AWST/PHT; 5:05 am AEST

September Equinox         Thursday Sept 22 14:21 UT; 10:21 am EDT

Oct’s 1st new moon*       Saturday Oct 1 00:12 UT; 3:12 am IDT; 8:12 am AWST/PHT;  10:12 am AEST
Sept’s 2nd new moon*   Friday Sept 30 2:12 pm HAST; 5:12 pm PDT; 8:12 pm EDT
.   Black Moon?*              (*Depends on time zone. See “Folklore” next section for “Black Moon” details.)

October’s full moon       Sunday Oct 16 04:23 UT; 7:23 am IDT; 12:23 pm AWST/PHT;  3:23 pm ADST
.                                           Sunday Oct 16 12:23 am EDT
.                                           Saturday Oct 15 6:23 pm HAST; 9:23 pm PDT

Oct’s 2nd new moon     Sunday Oct 30 17:38 UT; 7:38 am HAST; 10:38 am PDT; 1:38 pm EDT
. Black Moon?*              Sunday Oct 30  7:38 pm IST
.                                         Monday Oct 31 1:38 am AWST/PHT; 4:38 am AEDT
.                                         (*See “Folklore” next section for “New Moon~Black Moon” details.)

.                                        Check out Moon Giant to see Full Moon and New Moon times for your local time zone.

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SKYWATCH

The Blah Eclipse You Won’t Be Able to See

    Okay – yes, this full moon will be eclipsed. No, it won’t be a total eclipse or even a partial one; it will be another “penumbral” eclipse, which means even if you were in the part of the world where the moon will be above the horizon when it happens, you probably wouldn’t be able to notice it happening.

   Where visible: Europe, parts of Asia, Australia, and eastern Africa. So to the Western Hemisphere, the moon won’t even be above the horizon during the eclipse. For a map, visibility search by city, and an enlightening animation, see TimeandDate’s page.

PENUMBRA
.   What’s “penumbral”? The umbra of a shadow is the dark part where all of the light from the light source (in this case, the Sun) is blocked. When the light source is spread out (that is, not a point source) like the Sun’s large round disk, if the occluding body (in this case, the Earth) is not in a direct line or large enough to block it, then it covers only part of the source and some (or much) of the light ends up getting past.

   The penumbra (from the Latin paene meaning “almost, nearly”) then, is the part of the shadow where only some of the source light is blocked. With much of the sun’s light still hitting and reflected by the Moon, you would not be able to discern anything happening unless you were staring for a long time and paying close attention. (ref: Wikipedia “Umbra” and “Total Penumbral Eclipse“)

Penumbra diagram Dirac Delta Consultants Ltd)

    The penumbra is the transition region between the darkest shadow and full brightness. Only part of the light from the source reaches this region. (ref: Dirac Delta Consultants Ltd.)

INTERESTING ECLIPSES COMING IN 2017

   2017 has some more interesting eclipse events in store. Here is a list of lunar and solar eclipses coming next year. (Clicking any of the headings will open TimeandDate’s page for that eclipse.)

Feb 10 / Feb 11 Lunar, Penumbral
Europe, much of Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Arctic, Antarctica

Feb 26 Solar, Annular
South/West Africa, much of South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Antarctica

Aug 7 / Aug 8 Lunar, Partial
Much of Europe, much of Asia, Australia, Africa, East in South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Antarctica

Aug 21 Solar, Total
West in Europe, North/East Asia, North/West Africa, North America, North/West South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic

   I call your attention to the red highlighted text above ==> a total solar eclipse cutting a swath across the midsection of the United States!  People in this part of the world won’t have another chance coming even close to this until 2024. So click the link above, consult the map, and start making plans!
.                         (ref: TimeandDate “Solar and Lunar Eclipses Worldwide – Next 10 years“)

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FOLKLORE

Two “Black Moons”?

    Well, yes/no/depends. (Doncha just love waffle answers like that?!)

Fanciful Black Moon (Free-Spirited Mind)

Fanciful Black Moon (Free-Spirited Mind)

    As if keeping track of blue moons wasn’t enough, now black moons, too? Briefly, one of the more recent folkloric (chiefly Wiccan) traditions extrapolates from the current definition of a blue moon and defines a black moon as the second occurrence of a new moon in a calendar month

   Using this definition and consulting the Seasonal Calendar, above, you can see that if you are situated somewhere just west of Greenwich and east of Hawaii, you had a new moon on Sept 1 and will have another one on Sept 30. This second new moon will be a “black” moon by the above definition.

  But wait! There’s more! Folks who are anywhere Greenwich east to the International Date Line will have two new moons in October, so the new moon on October 30/31 will also be a black moon — and will fall on Halloween (for folks who observe it) from Bangkok’s time zone east to the Date Line.

   Wow! Two black moons back-to-back, and one of them on Halloween! That’s gotta be worth howling about! For background and more details on blue and black moons, check out our March 2014 issue.

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MOON NAMES

Mulberry (and) Harvest

    Many cultures in both hemispheres kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon, appropriate for the month in which it occurred and keyed –naturally enough – to the goings-on in their natural environment . . . the weather, the plants, the animals.

   In previous Septembers we’ve covered a number of folk names this full moon is known by. While the various resources for moon names don’t always agree, I found two that list Mulberry as the Choctaw name for September’s moon. Good enough for me. (refs: Keith’s Moon Names and Everything Under the Moon.) See the Art and Song sections below for more things Mulberry.

   Of course it’s also the Harvest Moon. I couldn’t find any good pictures of a Mulberry Moon, so here’s another neat-o Harvest Moon creation:

September's Full Harvest Moon (Science Projects For Kids)

September’s Full Harvest Moon (Science Projects For Kids)

   For lots more good Harvest Moon facts ‘n pics, see my Sept 2013 and Sept 2015 back issues.

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CELESTIAL MECHANICS ~ MOON MOTION

 Equatorial Orbits

    Q: Does the Moon’s orbit circle the Earth’s equator?
    A: No. But it’s logical to think that it might.

Moon’s Orbit
.   The Moon circles the Earth in an elliptical orbit whose plane is much closer to the ecliptic (5° or so) than to Earth’s equatorial plane. This gives rise to the relatively frequent eclipses that we observe.

Moon's orbital tilt (NASA)

Moon’s orbital tilt (NASA)

   If the Moon’s orbit was not inclined at all to the ecliptic, we would be seeing eclipses every month. If, instead, the Moon circled the Earth’s equator, eclipses would be as rare as hen’s teeth. (Note that the word “ecliptic” came about because astronomers long ago noted that eclipses occurred only when the Moon crossed it.)

  Your intuition that the Moon circles the Earth’s equator would not be without reason: all fourteen of the other large “regular” moons in our Solar System circle their parent planet’s equator. Why do they and our Moon does not? It all has to do with how moons come to be in the first place.

ORIGIN OF SOLAR SYSTEM PLANETS and MOONS
.   First of all, let’s note that nobody knows the answers for sure ~ no one was around with a video camera when our Solar System formed some 4.6 billion years ago. All we have to go on are observations made from Earth-based telescopes, space telescopes in Earth orbit, spacecraft probe flybys, the geological record, and a few rock samples from the Moon and meteorites.

   The generally accepted theory is that the planets of our Solar System coalesced from a giant flat disk of dense gas and dust that was swirling around the newly formed Sun.

Protoplanetary disc

Protoplanetary disc

   The plane of this disk remains today the plane of the ecliptic: the plane that contains the orbits of most of the major bodies of the Solar System.

FORMATION OF MOONS
.   Moons around planets can come into being in a variety of ways. It is thought that the major moons in our Solar System coalesced from dust clouds swirling around their parent planet. This would explain their equatorial orbits.

4 Largest Jovian moons

The Four Largest Moons of Jupiter (Phys.org)

   Why, then, is Ms. Luna the exception? Theories abound. A lot of people like the “giant-impact” hypothesis that suggests a Mars-sized body hit Earth with a glancing blow, creating a large debris ring around Earth, which then accreted to form the Moon. But there is evidence that contradicts this theory.

Formation of the Moon (Buzzle)

Impact Theory of Formation of the Moon (Buzzle)

   That’s more than enough for now. If you find yourself fascinated by any of this, there is more reading about it that will keep you entranced for hours, if not days or weeks. Here are some Wikipedia articles you can begin with:
Orbit of the Moon    Origin of the Moon    Formation of the Solar System

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JUST SAYIN’

Continuing the “All of Us” Theme

   I introduced this section in July’s issue to offer a unifying perspective on the troubles and pain we humans continue to inflict on each other. Many poets have expressed how calming the moon can be, due ~ among other things ~ to her perspective from above, and also to her silence. (See Just Sayin’ in July’s issue for my expansion on this point of view.)

   This perspective sees all of us as equal passengers on this bright blue marble. My July and August posts offered songs expressing this idea. This month I’ve continued this theme of inclusivity with Alicia Keys’ song “We Are Here (for all of us)”Click the photo to open the YouTube page where you can watch and listen to her singing it.

Alicia Keys “We Are Here”

   Excerpt from the chorus:

We are here for all of us
It’s why we are here

   A simple search reveals this talented and heart-centered young woman’s commanding presence on the Web, including a Facebook page, her own website, a Wikipedia article, and more.

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THE MOON IN ART

Van Gogh’s “The Mulberry Tree”

   I couldn’t very well do a mulberry-themed post without including Vincent van Gogh’s famous contribution. In doing this research I learned that he created his “Mulberry Tree” painting while residing in the Saint Paul Asylum in Saint-Remy, about a year before he would die. A tortured soul, painting his interpretation of what he saw around him was the grounding constant in his life. He told his brother that of all the works he did during this time, this painting was his favorite. It is among the most imitated of his works – by adults and children alike. For more details check out Van Gogh Gallery.

The Mulberry Tree (Vincent van Gogh)

The Mulberry Tree (Vincent van Gogh) (source: Wikipedia)

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THE MOON IN SONG

“Mulberry Moon” x3, plus “Monkberry” by McCartneys

   Surprisingly, I found three Mulberry Moon songs, each unique. Although none is outstanding, I list them here in case any of these styles appeals to you. Also a surprise by Paul and Linda McCartney.

   Mulberry Moon by The Shady Grove Band (1990) ~ two minutes of good (instrumental) downhome bluegrass.

   Mulberry Moon ~ a mournful(?) ballad by Andy Cook and the Wanderloons, a teen garage band. You will be on the edge of your seat wondering when the patient girl in the spotlight is going to play those twenty notes on her xylophone.

   Mulberry Moon ~ a laid-back jazz piece from Grayhawk Perkins Mezcal Jazz Unit’s Thirteen Moons album.

   Monkberry Moon Delight by Paul McCartney. In doing the research I came across this piece that Paul composed and published when he was in between The Beatles and Wings. While not exactly mulberry, still “monkberry” is close enough (and silly enough) that I thought you might enjoy watching and listening to Paul and Linda on the only album they made together.

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MOON-RELATED CELEBRATIONS

Asian Mid-Autumn Festival

   Celebration of the Mid-Autumn festival has a long history. Ancient emperors traditionally worshiped the sun in spring and the moon in autumn, and celebrations continue to this day.  Along with the Spring Festival, the annual Mid-Autumn Festival ~ also called the Chinese Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival ~ is one of the most important annual festivals for Chinese and Vietnamese people and is an official holiday in many Asian countries. Perhaps most importantly, it is a day for family reunion.

Ancient Chinese Moon Worship

Ancient Chinese Moon Worship (China Travel)

   As we have noted in previous issues, the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, with each month beginning at the dark (new) moon. Like all calendars that attempt to be guided by the moon’s phases but still wish to maintain some kind of sync with the seasons – which of course are determined by the sun’s cycle – periodic adjustments need to be made. In the case of the Chinese calendar, a “leap-month” is added about every three years. The next leap years will be 2017 and 2020.

   The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month, thus occurring at the full moon. Even though the official national holiday will occur on September 15 this year (according to the Western Gregorian calendar), celebrations are already underway. Check your local news feeds for celebrations in your area.  (refs: China Travel (history and legends), Little Day Out (Singapore), Wikipedia)

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ASTROLOGY

Moon Travels Through the Zodiac

  Unlike the Earth – which takes 365+ days to make a complete circuit through the zodiac – the moon takes just a month to complete an entire round. This means she spends on average only two and a half days in each zodiac sign.

Moon in Signs and Void of Course

   Technical astrologers call the times while Ms. Luna is in transition from one sign to the next “void of course”. This is considered to be a sort of neither-here-nor-there state, which many people feel as being unsettled or ungrounded. You can find interesting VoC info and tables at Moontracks.

   Referencing the above tables, we find that Ms. Luna will enter the sign of Pisces on Thursday (15th) at 02:23, and will become VoC as she leaves Pisces on Friday (16th) at 19:05, the exact same moment that she becomes full. This is purely coincidental, but some astrologers may see some significance in it. She will enter the next sign, Aries, on Saturday (17th) at 04:22. (All above times are UT~Universal Time.)

Full Moon in Pisces

Æterna ~  

Pisces Full Moon
The Fragile

   Æterna is a professional astrologer based in Italy, who also runs her own website Aeternalight Astrology “The Cosmic Path to a Conscious Life”, where she claims introspection and compassionate understanding as two of the major assets she brings to her astrology practice.

   For this full moon in Pisces, Æterna notes:

While there is nothing horrific per se about the upcoming Full Moon / Lunar Eclipse… it’s true that it will involve a confrontation with the unknown to some extent – the transcendental, fluid unknown of the Piscean realm.

   Because Æterna’s style is both sensitive and pithy, you will want to set aside some quiet time to reflect on and let what she writes soak in. For example, later on in her article she tells us this full moon is a chance for:

An encounter with our own vulnerability, amidst tidal waves of emotions that beg to be cleared, released.

   Worth it, IMHO, to give yourself the gift of taking in what Æterna offers in her installment for this full moon at Full Moon in Pisces – The Fragile.

(Note in 2017: Æterna has traded in her “stage name” for her real name, Cristina, and can now be found at Zodiac Poetry.)

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Donna Greco  

Pisces Full Moon Eclipse
“Emotional Illumination”

Recommended by a reader-friend, Donna Greco is a professional astrologer located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who runs her own website Cosmic Consultations. She also teaches piano and has a separate website devoted to this: Donna’s Piano Studio.

   For this full moon in Pisces, Donna has published a piece she called Emotional Illumination. In it she writes:

Pisces the Fish is beckoning us to dive deeply within our emotional life. What appears as pain, complexity and turbulence is serving to awaken us. This is a moon of deep and intricate emotional healing.

Feelings abound. In order to heal, we must feel. While intense emotion can seem overwhelming, it is paramount to find the time and space in which to feel and express our emotions, for this Moon is clearing out ancient emotional imagery which has only served to block us on our path to happiness and fulfillment.

   If this idea calls to you, I recommend visiting Donna’s installment for this full moon at Pisces Full Moon Eclipse “Emotional Illumination” for the full experience of the rest of the story.

Pisces Full Moon

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HUMOR

Calvin and Hobbes: The Moon Says So

   Continuing the Calvin and Hobbes series we began in July, Calvin is sure the moon will prevail. Hobbes . . . not so much. Here is the third in this series of six . . .

Calvin Implores the Moon

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FROM ME TO YOU

    Thank you, dear reader, for visiting EM&S this “moonth”. I hope you liked it.

   If you especially liked (or disliked) something you saw here, or would like to see something in particular covered in a future issue, or you have something interesting about the Earth, Moon, or Stars you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment. I’m always interested in how folks who stop by here are moved/influenced/affected by what they encounter here. And don’t be shy about sharing this post with friends if you like it!

   Note that I now have a separate page called ARCHIVES which contains a list of all the titles I’ve posted since the inception of this blog. The titles are clickable, of course. Easier and more informative than just the dates that appear in the right-side Archives column. (I’m slowly learning things I can make WordPress do. There’s a lot there!)

   Until the full moon in October, here’s wishing all of us a month of compassion and surrender.
~ Moonlight to all, Marty

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My Personal Take on Astrology

  Some folks have wondered why I have an astrology section in a blog that purports to be “science” oriented. I suppose I could cite ancient cultures in which astronomy and astrology were the domain of the same person. And that a broader way of understanding the aim of science is to expand knowledge (the word science being derived from the Latin word  scīre “to know”). My own sense is that while we humans live in a material world that runs by certain rules of physics, we each experience our lives in this world subjectively. It’s what makes us similar and at the same time unique.
   How much do celestial bodies influence our lives? Certainly the Sun and the Moon have noticeable gravitational effects on water and even rocks. Electromagnetic and particle radiation from the Sun has both obvious and subtle effects on just about everything on this planet. Even moonlight affects plants and animals.  I do not claim to know if or how much these and other celestial bodies affect our individual directly, but I like the wisdom, insight, warmth and humanness that the astrologers I feature express in their writing, and believe that including them not only expands my potential audience, but also exposes folks to ways of thinking about their own lives that they might not have otherwise considered. Let me know your take on this. I won’t make your comment public if you ask me not to.

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A NOTE ON WRITING STYLE

    A few detail-oriented folks have inquired about my use (or mis-use) of Initial Caps in words like earth, moon, and sun. In the long run, it doesn’t affect understanding; whether I write ”the President” or “the president”, you still know who I’m referring to. I write “the Northern Hemisphere”, just as you would (correctly) write “the West Coast”; it’s a proper name, and in English we capitalize proper names.

    When it comes to suns and moons it can get confusing. There are billions of suns out there; we have given names to more than 40 million of them, ranging from names given in other languages (e.g., Aldebaran), to less fanciful but more utilitarian names, such as HD 140913. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has decreed that our sun is the only one without such a proper name, although historically and in poesy it’s been called by quite a few.

    Similarly for our moon. We’ve christened all of the other 182 moons in our solar system with names – ours is the only one we call the Moon.

    Since we capitalize the names of all the other heavenly bodies (even asteroids and comets, for pity’s sake), I feel we ought to show at least as much respect for the ones most important to us. The IAU agrees.

    So does Wikipedia. Their Manual of Style says: “The words sun, earth, moon and solar system are capitalized (as proper names) when used in an astronomical context to refer to a specific celestial body (our Sun, Earth, Moon and Solar System): The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System; The Moon orbits the Earth. They are not capitalized when used outside an astronomical context (The sky was clear and the sun felt warm), or when used in a general sense (Io is a moon of Jupiter).”

    Sometimes it’s a fine line. If I write “by the light of the silvery moon”, I won’t capitalize it, because I’m referring to an image of the celestial body, not the body itself. By contrast, if I write, “the light from the Sun reflects off the surface of the Moon,” I capitalize both, because I’m referring directly to the celestial bodies.

    If you inspect the archives of this blog, you will likely see many instances where I departed from this rule. We’ll call these oversights, and eventually I will correct them. Meanwhile, it’s an interesting challenge just to follow it in new writings. Are we having fun, yet?

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INTENTION FOR THIS EARTH, MOON AND STARS BLOG

   The Earth, Moon and Stars blog is published once each Full Moon with (hopefully interesting) facts and lore about our moon and other sky phenomena. My wish is that you will have fun learning a bit more about our one and only natural satellite and how all of us — people, animals, plants, water, even rocks — are affected and connected by her.

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COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER

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About aquarianman

Aquarian interested in anything to do with the Earth, our Moon, and anything flying around out there in space.
This entry was posted in astronomy, Constellations, Folklore, moon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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