Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20, 2008

winter_moon.jpg

Wednesday night’s the night — a big ol’ total lunar eclipse over most of planet Earth.

Here’s a map that lets you know how much of the eclipse you can see from your part of the world. The partial eclipse begins at 8:43 EST (1:43 a.m. GMT); the total eclipse starts at 10:01 p.m. EST.

While lunar eclipses aren’t as exciting as comets or meteor showers (they’re dramatic but slow) they’re still fascinating to watch unfold.

I charge anyone who’s interested to take the JSFW Lunar Nerd Challenge: can you get someone to watch the eclipse? Can you get someone interested in what’s happening?

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Here’s a cool NASA article on the different colors the eclipsed moon can turn (gray, black, red and even bluish) during a total eclipse, and why.

If you recall, last year an eclipsed moon rose at sundown, ashy gray and nearly invisible, after I got myself and my blogfriends all worked up about a gigantic scarlet ball of fear, possibly including live bats and organ music, balefully marching over the horizon at sunset. Ah, well.

And as the damn thing eclipsed it just turned black. Stupid moon. Maybe this year will be different and we’ll get some Lovecraftian color action.

The word from NASA is that this is the last lunar eclipse visible in the Americas until 2010. Catch it if you can.

3 responses to “Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20, 2008

  1. Okay, I alerted a friend who is so not into lunar eclipses, I had to explain what one is. She says she’s going to go out and look at it later tonight. So maybe I got one person to try something new and nerdy.

  2. Nerd victory is my kind of victory. So far it looks fabulous here in Asheville, the clouds blew away to reveal a spooky red moon with a weird blue opalescent glow that almost hurts my eyes to look at it. Can’t wait for totality.

  3. It was cloudy here — no spectacular color effects — but it was interesting to see the moon (through the cloud cover) go from full to half-full to dark and back again in the space of a few hours.

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