Re: Random Charged Particle
Speaking of good excuses...
I write software for one of the asteroid-hunting sky surveys that searches for objects that might hit us. Most clear nights, their telescopes will gather images of various chunks of the sky, then look for objects that move against the background of the stars in a straight line. This starts up a few days after a full moon, then runs for about three weeks until a few days before full moon. (Near full moon, the sky background is bright enough that the telescopes really can't see fainter objects well anyway.) All three of the major surveys, one in Arizona and two in Hawaii, follow this cadence.
At one point, we were trying to figure out a software issue involving getting data from the Minor Planet Center, which gathers all the measured positions of asteroids (astrometry) and tries to make sense of them ("this set of points links up to this set of points; they're the same object"). We eventually figured out that the issue arose during the time near full moon, when MPC was doing much of this linkage work.
I commented that I've frequently heard software problems blamed on "it must be a full moon", but that this was the first time it really _was_ because "it was a full moon".