Last night at almost spot on 10pm we witnessed a stunningly beautiful lunar eclipse, it’s only the second one I’ve ever been privileged to see, and I stayed up way past my bedtime to view it! They mentioned something about it on the radio in the morning, but I’m not a morning person, so it goes in one ear and out the other, in fact, anything before 11am-ish goes in one ear and out the other! Hubby, on the other hand is a bit more organised and wrote it down. So last night, starting around 8:40pm we kept looking out of the window checking on progress, and about an hour later we decided to stand there until it had completely eclipsed at 10pm. Prior to the eclipse we had both noticed how incredibly bright the moon was, With the reflective snow on the ground and the albedo (reflectivity) of the moon, it didn’t get as dark as I thought it would. A total eclipse is a truly wondrous sight, not as spectacular as a solar eclipse, but much easier to see. I don’t know all the technicalities of it, but I know that once in a while the moons orbit puts it in the shadow of the earth, and no direct light from the sun can reach it. Things such as atmospheric pollution affect the colour the moon turns, from very dark to bright red, last night it was darker on the left hand side and a much lighter, brownish tone to the right. The total eclipse lasted about half an hour before the shadow from the earth began to move off to the right. I didn’t stay for that part and went off to bed! I’m glad I stayed up to watch it though. The next one is sometime in August of 2008.
Photos stolen from the web!
[Waterford, Michigan. About 25 mils away from me]
[Somewhere in England. A bit further away from me!]