Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse: Was the Moon Really Red? | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse: Was the Moon Really Red?

What would a lunar eclipse on the solstice be without my beloved camera?

Watching lunar eclipseI pulled my thickest Redskins blanket over my head and went to sleep on the sofa with all of the lights on. The lunar eclipse on the winter solstice was a once in a lifetime event I would surely not miss. When I heard Mary Khris call out to her sister, I grabbed my camera and headed out into the chill in my pajamas.

The perfect conditions to view the solstice lunar eclipse – for the human eye anyway

The air was perfectly clear. The moon and stars were brighter than ever on the Space Coast. Orion was larger than we’ve ever seen it. If the view was a Christmas card from the universe, the meteors were added glitter.

I raised my kids to always look up. If I made my own bumper sticker, it might say, “We brake for rainbows.” Whether it’s flight or God’s creation, the sky is the most popular subject for my cameras except for my kids.

The camera cannot capture the electrifying thrill of the lunar eclipse or a Space Shuttle launch at my house. And there is something else it missed. This lens that’s so great for football is not meant for space so there is no record of the red moon we saw. As the silver sliver got smaller, I had to force the “shutter” to stay open longer. But there was no way to capture any of the lunar eclipse after it got small enough that my camera started lying to me.

My camera said, “There’s nothing there” and refused to shoot. If I forced it to take the shot, it said, “See, I told you there was nothing there.” Don’t you love technology with personality?

Of course there are more appropriate cameras and lenses for shooting a lunar eclipse, much less a meteor shower. Yet, something haunted me about this after I finally went to bed this morning. I kept thinking about what it would mean to have the right camera for RA. In some ways, we are barely out of the “earth is flat” stage with RA. The only ones who know what RA is really like are those who live with it – either in their bodies or as faithful caregivers.

Camera's view of solstice lunar eclipse

Like the red moon of a lunar eclipse, RA may be where a camera can’t find it

Disease activity is mostly invisible. There had been hope that the Rheumatoid factor would become a tool like measuring insulin for Diabetes. But the Rheumatoid factor is so unreliable, a doctor recently said to me, “No one cares about the Rf anymore.” There was brief hope that ultrasound for RA would become a reliable tool to see RA. That hope is pretty dim. Many doctors now claim the CRP has that significance. They are mistaken.

Technology falls short with RA. For now. I’ve heard some doctors and researchers admit we don’t know what causes RA or even exactly what it is yet. I’ve brought my readers reports of the most accurate method we have for measuring RA, which happens to be patient generated data (patient questionnaires).

If you want reliable physical evidence of Rheumatoid Arthritis, we have nothing to look at but the wake RA creates. That means the high rate of disability …or autopsies showing evidence of its effect on the spine, the larynx, and the heart in most patients. Until there is a better RA “camera,” we will have to take the word of those who know. If you want to know whether the moon was red last night, you will have to ask those of us who saw the moon turn red whether our cameras agreed or not.

Note: click to enlarge eclipse photos.

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Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/

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7 thoughts on “Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse: Was the Moon Really Red?

  • December 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I love your comment,raised my kids to look up,and brake for are right,tho we cant see the red moon with camera,as RA,doesnt mean it isnt there.there but for Gods grace of RA go I

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  • December 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    As is often the case, a reader has gone on to read another post listed in this one and made a comment which I wish that everyone in the world could read! If you have time, please read Rachel’s comment here too. Thanks.

  • December 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    We saw and photographed a “blood moon” several years ago. The trick is to use a tripod and a prolonged exposure time. 🙂

    I read in an article yesterday that if you were on the moon looking at the earth during a lunar eclipse, the halo around the earth would be fiery red. You would essentially be viewing “all the sunrises and sunsets on earth, all at the same time.” That’s where the red color comes from – a reflection of all Earth’s sunrises and sunsets. 🙂

  • December 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    The lunar eclipse was spectacular in Oklahoma last night, I didn’t even try to take any pictures of it due to my photographic limitations. I just watched it and have it tucked away in my memory.

    • December 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm

      I’m glad ya’ll saw it. My camera was a handicap too as you can see, but I loved the challenge. It was a neat memory – we got a little bit loud and a sherriff slowed down to peek at us. 🙂

      • December 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

        Now that would have made an interesting blog post … I’m writing this post from the county jail cell this morning. lol


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