There are numerous patterns and cycles in the heavens. Tomorrow, March 20th, is the Vernal Equinox, the semi-annual moment when the length of the day is exactly 12 hours everyone on Earth. I like that dynamic, a twice-a-year event in which we are all given equal periods of sun above the horizon and below the horizon, regardless of your latitude, regardless of whether you are in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. That is a moment of beauty in the grand annual rhythms of our home planet.
The pattern of lunar repetition that lasts for just longer than 18 years is also responsible for the cycle of lunar and solar eclipses that take place around the world. I witnessed a total solar eclipse in Europe in July 1999, and the celestial dynamics of that eclipse will exactly repeat in August 2017 when a wonderful total solar eclipse will sweep across the United States. For me, it will be a rare chance to be standing in the shadow of the Moon on the second passing of this particular alignment of Moon, Earth and Sun, one that will be far more dramatic and meaningful to me than any particular Super Full Moon you might encounter between now and then. But in the end, if you can find some meaning and solace looking up at the Moon tonight, savor the moment and mark your calendar for April 2029 when the conditions will align themselves and present you with a chance to relive this magic moment when you saw a particularly big and impressive full moon. That is something worth pondering, and the rest of the media hype you are hearing right now should be simply ignored.
Image courtesy NASA.