Thursday, March 1, 2007

Lunar Eclipse Saturday 3/3/07

Approximately 2-1/2 years ago, the moon passed completely into earth's shadow.  But if you live in Europe, Africa or the eastern half of North America, polish off the "amazing!" part of your speech center.  And get out those binoculars unless you have a telescope.  Either way, you'll see this, and never forget it. 

This lunar eclipse is one you can see from your own backyard, or window, or wherever you stand - it will be equally visible in all places where Luna is above the local horizon.  Even better, this marvelous event will happen in the early Saturday evening, making it quite visible to those in the eastern half of North American, that being Canada and the USA.   

The beginning and ending of a lunar eclipse happens simultaneously, unlike a solar eclipse, which takes far longer to reach totality (the complete eclipsing of the sun).  A small timetable - the moon will enter its penumbra, or time when there is only partial illumination, at 20:18 to 21:13 GMT, or approximately 4 to 5:15 Greenwich Mean Time.

For us in the east, totality begins at 5:44 PM EST and will end around 6:58 PM EST.  Not long, as with a solar event.  It will then leave penumbra around 8:11 to 9:24 PM EST. That's part of why a lunar eclipse is so special, unique. 

You might note that on Saturday when this occurs, the moon will always be in eclipse as it rises.  For those in the western USA and Canada, the event will pretty much have ended by the time you see the moon rise.  But not to worry!  The next total eclipse on 8/27 will favor that western area specifically.  You'll have the finest view.  Be patient, it's so worth it.  You'll have a telescope by then, right?  And of course I'll be here to remind you!

For this event, binoculars are recommended, and certainly use your telescope if you have one.  If you don't, think of all you've missed, and decide if it's worth it for you to invest in a simple one.  Peronally, I enjoy the details surrounding past lunar eclipses and how they became part of ancient and mysterious superstitions, many of which we continue to keep alive today.  Our Luna Maria has always pulled at us, we can never escape our fascination for her existence, there in our outer sky, gazing down at the tiny mortals rushing to catch a better view.  We've walked upon her dusty skin.  We've taken material from her body.  We've plunged our flag into her side.  Yet she sits patiently and without equal in our world of wonders.  Why is she alone?  Why does earth have but one satellite?  She originated from this very land, the one piece that flew out into space and lives content and quiet in her singular orbit.  Yet she has the power to activate the whole world into directing their giant telescopes her way, when such an event as this occurs.  

When I watch this Saturday, I'll once again be reminded of how small we are, how much we still don't know, how simply incredible is this thing called space.    

 

  

7 comments:

barbpinion said...

What an awesome entry. And thank you for reminding me about this Eclipse. I'd forgotten, though how I could, I'll never know. The heavens is my greatest focus point, for it always helps me recognize my place in the scheme of things.
Thanks for all the great information.
Hugs, love & prayers too,
Barb- http://journals.aol.com/barbpinion/THERESTOFTHESTORY
        http://journals.aol.com/barbpinion/HEYLETSTALK

littlelady1699 said...

Oh COOL  COOL  COOL

I'm going to try and get pics with my camera!!
too bad I won't be in the blue ridge

patty

princesssaurora said...

I can't wait!  We have it on the calendar since last month... (love my nasa updates... lol)

be well,
Dawn
http://journals.aol.com/princesssaurora/CarpeDiem/

lanurseprn said...

I wish I could see it.  The sun will be up and bright here in CA during the eclipse making it impossible for me to see. <sigh>
Have a good day.
Pam

luddie343 said...

Cathy 2 Pam:  Aw I'm so sorry Pam, but wait till 8/27, that's when YOU guys get the best view for the next one, just as amazing if not more!  

stevietwain said...

Hiya hun,

Thanks for this entry. I first read about this eclipse here, and that's how I viewed it tonight. I forgott o comment cos I had to leave the house in a hurry.

I got some catching up to do.

Love Ste
xxxx

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