Head of School Nick Thacher is encouraging families to enjoy an unusual cosmic event on Sunday: a total lunar eclipse, to begin at 10:11 p.m., when the earth, moon, and sun will align perfectly. Click on Read more for the full text of his letter.

Dear Parents:

At last night’s Lower School Back-to-School evening, I encouraged the parents of our younger children to take advantage (if the weather cooperates) of a rare “parenting” opportunity which presents itself Sunday evening, at the unfortunately late hour of 10 p.m.

You may already have heard or read that this Sunday there will be a total lunar eclipse, destined to commence at 10:11 p.m., when the earth, moon, and sun align perfectly. (For reasons I won’t detail, this occurs irregularly but has happened with unusual frequency in the past decade–and, if you miss it, there will be another chance in 2018. On the other hand, I am told it never happened between 1600 and 1900.)

To make this even more special, we will be enjoying a “supermoon” this weekend–the moon being at its closest point to earth, 30,000 miles closer than its average distance…which means, to my untutored brain, that it will be slightly brighter than usual (though still 220,000 miles away).

Why do I call your particular attention to this random astrological event? Primarily because opportunities to share genuine exciting natural phenomena as a family with our children are all too rare; and so much of what we do expose to them (and expose them to) comes through the limiting medium of the screen. This, on the other hand, is real, first-hand–and provides, I suggested to the Lower School parents last night, an opportunity to make a lasting childhood memory of something you experience together as a family. Whether you add hot chocolate, blankets, or marshmallows is up to you; but I did promise (in the hearing of the Lower School teachers) that DCD students have permission to be late to school Monday morning.

I cannot resist adding that if you are wavering at the thought of allowing your children to stay up “way past bedtime” on a Sunday evening, ask yourself if you would permit it for the waning moments of a Patriots’ Superbowl game. If so, I would argue, you owe them a shot at the splendid wonders of a total eclipse of the supermoon. The Elizabethans called it “the music of the spheres.”

And, nature being nature, overcast skies could well deny us all this potential adventure.