"An Unfortunate Moonlit Night..."
Our next full Moon will be this Friday with moonrise at 8:10, in the evening, setting at 6:33 Saturday morning. Native Americans referred to the July Full Moon as the Full Buck Moon or the Full Thunder Moon. On July 29, 1945, moon rise over the Philippine Sea occurred at 10:30 p.m. With maximum illumination, surface reflectivity was at its height. Japanese submariners targeted the silhouette of a cruiser on that moonlit night and torpedoed the vessel. If not for the moon glow, the USS Indianapolis would have passed unnoticed. SKY and TELESCOPE magazine predicted a repeat of this celestial scene, 13 years ago, on the exact night and the exact time which marked the 58th anniversary of the disaster. Of the 1,200 sailors on-board, 900 escaped the attack but only 317 survived four days of exposure and shark attacks. The Indianapolis was delivering components of the first atomic bomb to Tinian Island for the bombing of Hiroshima. The bomber, Enola Gay, delivered the payload and the navigator of the Enola Gay, Dutch Van Kirk, died July 28, 2014.
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