View Full Version : Lunar Eclipse Tonight!

02-20-2008, 06:28 PM
Hope it isn't too cloudy to see it.


By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer Tue Feb 19, 7:48 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - The last total lunar eclipse until 2010 occurs Wednesday night, with cameo appearances by Saturn and the bright star Regulus on either side of the veiled full moon.

Skywatchers viewing through a telescope will have the added treat of seeing Saturn's handsome rings.

Weather permitting, the total eclipse can be seen from North and South America. People in Europe and Africa will be able to see it high in the sky before dawn on Thursday.

As the moonlight dims it won't go totally dark Saturn and Regulus will pop out and sandwich the moon. Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation Leo.

Jack Horkheimer, host of the PBS show "Star Gazer," called the event "the moon, the lord of the rings and heart of the lion eclipse."

Wednesday's event will be the last total lunar eclipse until Dec. 20, 2010. Last year there were two.

The weather could be a spoiler for many in the United States. Cloudy skies are expected for most of the Western states with a chance of snow from the heartland to the East Coast, said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service.

"It looks like it's going to be a hard one to spot," Seto said.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the full moon passes into Earth's shadow and is blocked from the sun's rays that normally illuminate it. During an eclipse, the sun, Earth and moon line up, leaving a darkened moon visible to observers on the night side of the planet.

The moon doesn't go black because indirect sunlight still reaches it after passing through the Earth's atmosphere. Since the atmosphere filters out blue light, the indirect light that reaches the moon transforms it into a reddish or orange tinge, depending on how much dust and cloud cover are in the atmosphere at the time.

Wednesday's total eclipse phase will last nearly an hour. Earth's shadow is expected to blot out the moon beginning around 7 p.m. on the West Coast and 10 p.m. on the East Coast. West Coast skygazers will miss the start of the eclipse because it occurs before the moon rises.

Unlike solar eclipses which require protective eyewear, lunar eclipses are safe to view with the naked eye.

Later this year, in August, there will be a total solar eclipse and a partial lunar eclipse.

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20080220/capt.14fa2bec699c4bd5aaf4cb9475bfd3c1.correction_l unar_eclipse_la104.jpg?x=400&y=319&sig=OForM1Umy1Y_VjqnwOlJLA--

02-20-2008, 07:35 PM
I can't see anything!

02-20-2008, 09:11 PM
I see it, looks pretty cool.

02-20-2008, 09:39 PM
I'm seein' it too! Thanks!

Hoosier Red
02-20-2008, 09:40 PM
Okay, so I saw the moon as half orange and half white, but the right side was white. So was I too early or too late to see the total eclipse.

02-20-2008, 09:43 PM
It's pretty neat right now.

02-20-2008, 09:55 PM
Okay, so I saw the moon as half orange and half white, but the right side was white. So was I too early or too late to see the total eclipse.I think it was too early. When we could first see it here it was like that too, and I think it's getting closer everytime I look out. I may be imagining it though. It's getting late.:)

02-20-2008, 10:08 PM
The best time is between 10:01 PM EST to 10:51 EST so get to it! :)

02-20-2008, 10:52 PM
It looks really cool right now!

02-21-2008, 01:59 PM
It was very cloudy here, but we had shirtsleeve temperatures. We sat outside for a little over an hour and got to see a grand total of two minutes of partially-covered moon. We saw it about 10 minutes before totality and not again in the next half-hour before we gave up.

http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/185/eclipseexport1fh2.th.jpg (http://img297.imageshack.us/my.php?image=eclipseexport1fh2.jpg)

02-21-2008, 02:06 PM
It was clear as a bell here and folks were lined up and down the streets when we went out for dinner, afterwards we checked it out on the front porch with the telescope, very cool.