09 December 2011

Lunar Eclipse Tomorrow!

Get up early? Well, if you get up early enough and the skies are clear you might see a lunar eclipse! Below is a beautiful time lapse of last year's lunar eclipse during the Winter Solstice. Talk about a blood red moon! When I was in Qatar several years ago I witnessed one of these and it was really quite eerie...

The 10th is a Saturday, so either stay in bed long enough to allow the eclipse to mature, or get the wide field telescope and long telephoto lens ready.

The partial eclipse begins to be observable at 5:45 a.m. when the umbra, the Earth's shadow's core, crosses the moon's edge. The moon goes absolutely curtains under the umbra in total eclipse from 7:05 to 7:57 a.m.

The eclipsed moon gets its color from the refraction of sunlight bending through the Earth's atmosphere, which is in turn tinted by the global amount of dust suspended up high. Astronomers like to say the colors are the result of the sunrises and sunsets all around the world put together at that moment. 

Read more here.

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse 2010 from William Castleman on Vimeo.
Time lapse video of Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse on December 21, 2010 from 1:10 AM EST (6:10 GMT) to 5:03 AM EST (10:03 GMT) from Gainesville Florida. This is the image stabilized version of the video originally posted on December 21, 2010 at: http://www.vimeo.com/18046748 The music is Claude Debussy’s Nocturnes: Sirènes.

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