I saw the moon last night.
Yes, it was full, bright and clear. It lit the garden quite nicely until Penny tripped the security lights whereupon the moon faded in significance somewhat.
Now if I hadn't seen the meeja I wouldn't have been any the wiser, but apparently last night was a Supermoon.
For fuck's sake!
And today the meeja and in particular Twitter [and no doubt Farcebook] are full of photographs of the moon as if no one had ever noticed it up there before.
I have seen the moon before. I have been aware of it for sixty years and more. Sometimes it's bright and sometime's it isn't. It goes quietly through its phases without seeking any permission. I even watched Neil Armstrong wipe his grubby feet on it.
But suddenly someone calls it a Supermoon and people go crazy, celebrating it and photographing it and acting like this is some new visitor from Outer Space come to save us all from ourselves.
The moon is on an elliptical orbit. It varies its distance from Earth from 252,000 miles to 222,000 miles. Now if anyone apart from an astronomer can visually see that small variation of 30,000 miles then they either have damn good eyesight or a vivid imagination. What's more, the variations in distance happen very slowly so the moon tonight will appear just the same as the moon last night. But by tonight the Twitterati will have forgotten about it again, because it is no longer a Supermoon.
Now if the moon suddenly turned up five miles away, that would be a Supermoon.