Flixbus trips feel a little like spaceships, especially if you step onto an overnight bus. All sense of time and position is lost for the rest of the evening. We sleep in 20 minute increments.
The bus traveled from 7 PM to 7 AM, 8 degrees east in the same time zone. Since the Earth spins 15 degrees every hour (360/24hours), that means that in Berlin, the Sun sets about 30 minutes earlier than in Amsterdam.
That's not the only unusual thing about the sky this morning. At 7AM, above the bus station, is the waning gibbous directly overhead.
A few days after the full moon is usually the end of the moon cycle, because with each passing day, the moon rises about 49 minutes later in the evening, every evening.
(24 hours in a day/29.5 days Full Moon to Full Moon = 49 minutes)
And THAT'S why the moon is in the sky during the day today, because it revolves around the Earth! It's just harder to notice because the contrast makes it pale in the sky, and just blends in with the clouds. But there is a time in the morning, if you can get underneath the shadow of a building or some tall trees, that you can see the moon quite clearly during the day.
It's really delightful. And it's the perfect time to share it with people who are on their way to work.
So that's what we got to do, after traveling through time and space to show up on the lawn of Tiergarten. When you balance the bike's kickstand on soggy ground, it's making a risky landing. Once the bikes start to tip, they can't easily be stopped, so you might as well let gravity win.
A number of people stopped to join us and see what we were looking at. It's difficult to posture yourself to offer a view - two in every three people have earbuds in, and "why are these weirdos out here with a telescope this early in the morning? I'm on my way to work."
Not everyone is in a rush though, and we get plenty of people to see what we were pointed at.
Well it's the craters on the moon during the day! A cool trick - you can use a red filter to bring out more of the shadows at the terminator line, just like you would see them at night. It also works great for full moons, since the striae of craters pop out as a much lighter tone in the red filtered light. The monochromatic light will surprise people, so you can even show them the difference, before and after, if you have the time to shuffle the eyepiece around. Low magnifications also look great for the daytime waning gibbous. The moon resembles a dimpled golf ball hovering in the blue.
10 am. It's time to meet our hosts and go back to sleep. The planets are up tonight, and we're gathering a group at Alexanderplatz in the evening.
See you there!