This evening we had one of those “once in a lifetime” chances to observe a celestial spectacle live. Because tonight’s full moon is a SUPERMOON – 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an average full moon.

It is the “closest full moon to date in the 21st century,” NASA says. The moon won’t come this close to Earth again until 2034. So may be the last chance for many of us earthlings to attend a celestial spectacle like this.

So this evening, shortly after 5 PM, I fired up my El Jeepo and we drove out into the Arizona desert for an unobstructed view of this celestial event. But first, we witnessed a beautiful desert sunset.

The official sunset time for this day is 5:25 PM. And that’s the exact time when I took one of these three shots.

Stand by for the rest of this story – the pictures of the rising Supermoon over the McDowell Mountains, Scottsdale’s eastern frontier where I do many of my hikes.

The exact moonrise time was 5:13 PM – that actually before the sunset. But since the McDowell Mountains obstructed the view to the east, I had to wait a few more minutes for the moon to emerge.


The wait was a meditational experience. Partly, that’s because of the symphonic music I was listening to at the Classical FM Arizona station. I could even hear it out in the desert 20 or 30 yards away from El Jeepo – this being an open air vehicle.

While I was waiting, two other cars, a truck and a suburban, parked behind El Jeepo. They had the same idea, I suppose. Or were perhaps attracted by curiosity about what this Hawaiian Jeep was doing parked in the Arizona desert. 🙂

Anyway, I did not wait long. Less than 10 minutes. At exactly 5:35 PM, I caught the first glimpse of the Supermoon. Just a little sliver emerging over a McDowell Mtn ridge. I kept snapping picture for the next 5 minutes or so until the moon was finally free of the McDowell Mtns. T

hen, El Jeepo and I drove home. The people in the other two vehicles were still snapping pictures.

And that’s all she wrote for this celestial event. Good night



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