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Unusual events, a night out in Gaillac

Yesterday evening with Helene, Chantelle and Francoise from Castelnau de Montmiral we had an extra ordinary treat, Oriental dance and music.   Gaillac_music_IMG_5830_wp.JPG

We with maybe 60 others visted the beautiful  house and garden  of friends in Gaillac who live near the park.

We enjoyed a couple of hours socialising, eating and drinking or rather, being France, drinking and eating.

Then, mostly by candle light and under the light of a full moon with the temperature still in the high 20’s, we listened to a selection of oriental music.

The instruments were all quite “traditional” which seems to mean late 19th early 20th century.

Much of the music was quite plaintive with tones of Arab, Persian, Greek, Russian and one piece lead by a violin quite Jewish, all melodic and some quite haunting, an extra ordinary event.

There was a full  moon last night and a rare event, a total eclipse of the moon.

After such an evening at the end of a day that had seen temperatures rise to the mid 30’s in the shade, I was just too tired and relaxed to say up long enough to observe it. 

Not to be missed, in late August, Mars will be in a proximity that hasn’t occurred for 73,000 years. Mars is already unusually bright in the night sky to our East South East.

You may be aware, Earth requires 365 days to go around the Sun once. Mars needs 687 Earth-days to fill up a calendar. Currently the Earth is “catching up” Mars!

The separations of Earth and Mars  vary wildly. On Aug. 27 this year, Mars will be 34.65 million miles (55.76 million kilometers) away. The last opposition, in 2001, involved a separation of more than 41 million miles (67 million kilometers).

In 1995, the distance between the two worlds was ALMOST double what it will be later this year!

The Red Planet will be close enough for anyone with a good-sized telescope or powerful binoculaers to discern many of the planet’s features, including  the polar ice cap, dark surface features and maybe if we are lucky, storm clouds.

Night skies in the tarn are often very clear.

Only 2 days ago at dusk I could clearly see mountains of the central the Pyrenees, 100 miles away, from my kitchen window.

Life in the Tarn – wish you were there?