I hoped there'd be more to see this year, but it was much like March's eclipse only less clear. For those who remembered from previous posts that you needed to be up at 1 a.m. ad infin., I noted in some Journals (Donna' especially) that many were up and ready ~ Very Early Morning ~ When Luna passed into Earth's shadow (the umbra stage) I expected it to be alot darker, clearer. Although very much like March, it was more disappointing here on the N.A. east coast. Since the Moon passed closer to the center of Earth's shadow during umbra this time, I did sort of expect it anyway. Still, my scope captured many delights I didn't expect, always astonishing to look into the past. During penumbra, as it moved out from Earth's shadow, I caught the pale fringe.
Folks wonder why the Moon isn't totally black at this time. What happens is much like what gives our atmosphere a blue appearance. It's merely the sun's light refracting off Earth's atmosphere, and in this case eventually giving Luna a deep orange to darkish brick color, much like dried blood (oops the forensic lab rat in me lol)
At the moment of totality, Luna was so bright yellow, almost white, I kept moving from my scope to just stare with the naked eye. It never disappoints, this incredible orb that all life has gazed upon and created myths around, we've even had to GO there to satisfy our need to know, which eons ago gave us My @*#&$^# Aching Back !! yet seems a small cost for what we gain in return.
The next lunar eclipse will be February 21-22, 2008. That's only months away. The Americas will be treated to the best view, ending the trilogy of less than one year.
I expect to live to see it.
Basics courtesy of Skywatcher, R&L, Sky Publishing Corp., Sky & Telescope, star charts.