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Every Monday morning at 6:49 and 8:49, IPR News Radio looks into the night sky with Mary Stewart Adams, former Program Director and founder of the International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands, who has been telling stories of the night sky on IPR since 2013.

Memorial Day Storyteller's Night Sky


Twice each year we pass through eclipse season, when the Moon comes Full or New near one of its Nodes, and we’re in the midst of it right now, during the two weeks from May 26 to June 10.

The Nodes of the Moon are the two points in space where the plane of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth intersects the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

When the Moon comes New or Full at these points of intersection, everything lines up, and an eclipse will occur. This is because Earth, Moon, and Sun will be near the same plane at such times.

In astrological tradition, the Moon’s Nodes reveal the path of destiny. This is rooted in the ancient idea that every human being comes from a star, and it was believed that as we come from our star, we carry destiny forces earthward through the portal of the Moon’s Nodes. Similarly, at death, we carry our life experience back into the celestial-spiritual world through these Nodal points.

The June 10 annular solar eclipse will cast its shadow right over the North Pole, at the very top of the world. As the Sun rises in Northern Michigan, part of the eclipse will be visible to us, so it’s worth getting up for.

Six months from now, a total solar eclipse will cast its shadow over Antarctica, which allows the storyteller to imagine that, at least as far as eclipses go, 2020 is about realizing how the whole world, from the very top to the very bottom, is woven together in a harmonious destiny, as the poet Rilke wrote:

“Destiny itself is like a wonderful wide tapestry in which every thread is guided by an unspeakable tender hand, placed beside another thread and held and carried by a hundred others.”

An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon crosses completely in front of the Sun but is too far away from the earth to block the entire solar disc.