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Stargazers watch total lunar eclipse
AP on Yahoo ^ | 3/3/07 | Raphael G. Satter - ap

Posted on 03/03/2007 6:47:24 PM PST by NormsRevenge

LONDON - The moon darkened, reddened, and turned shades of gray and orange Saturday night during the first total lunar eclipse in nearly three years, thrilling stargazers and astronomers around the world.

The Earth's shadow took over six hours to crawl across the moon's surface, eating it into a crescent shape before engulfing it completely in a spectacle at least partly visible on every continent.

About a dozen amateur astronomers braved the cold and mud outside the Croydon Observatory in southeast London to watch the start of the eclipse.

"It's starting to go!" said Alex Gikas, 8, a Cub Scout who was studying for his astronomy badge. "I've never seen anything like it before. I'm really excited."

By the time greatest eclipse, shortly after 5:44 p.m. EST, the light of the full moon was replaced by near-total obscurity.

"It was really very dark," said Paul Harper, Chairman of the Croydon Astronomical Society, who estimated that moon had lost over four-fifths of its luminosity. "It was quite a nice one."

Lunar eclipses occur when Earth passes between the sun and the moon, an uncommon event because the moon spends most of its time either above or below the plane of Earth's orbit.

Sunlight still reaches the moon during total eclipses, but it is refracted through Earth's atmosphere, bathing the moon in an eerie crimson light.

Mike Ealay, a 60-year-old architect who wandered over to the observatory to watch the eclipse, said the red color of the moon made it look like a close-up version of Mars.

"I think it's quite exciting. It's like having the red planet on your doorstep," he said.

Despite cloudy conditions over much of Europe, a variety of Webcasts carried the event live, and astronomers urged the public not to miss out on the spectacle.

"It's not an event that has any scientific value, but it's something everybody can enjoy," said Robert Massey, of Britain's Royal Astronomical Society.

The moon's red blush faded as it began moving out of Earth's shadow just after 8 p.m. EST. The eclipse ended a little more than hour later.

Residents of east Asia saw the eclipse cut short by moonset, while those in the eastern parts of North and South America had the moon already partially or totally eclipsed by the time it rose over the horizon in the evening.

While eastern Australia, Alaska and New Zealand missed Saturday's show, they will have front row seats to the next total lunar eclipse, on Aug. 28.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: eclipse; lunar; stargazers; total

A Lunar Eclipse is seen over the Westminster Abbey in London, Saturday, March 3, 2007. Amateur star-gazers and astronomers worldwide dusted off their telescopes and unsheathed their binoculars Saturday for the first total lunar eclipse in three years. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)


1 posted on 03/03/2007 6:47:26 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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NASA Lunar Eclipse Page: http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/lunar.html


2 posted on 03/03/2007 6:47:49 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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The first total lunar eclipse in three years wowed observers around the world Saturday, with those in Europe, Africa and the Middle East (Jordan, above) getting the best view. The next total lunar eclipse occurs in August.


3 posted on 03/03/2007 6:51:10 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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To: NormsRevenge

Beautiful pic...no sightings here--


4 posted on 03/03/2007 6:51:47 PM PST by Natchez Hawk (Conservative=liberal after their car is stolen. Libertarian=conservative after their car is towed.)
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To: NormsRevenge

You see anything over there? Bupkis here.


5 posted on 03/03/2007 6:52:01 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:(~)
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Total Lunar Eclipse Expected Saturday ^
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1794032/posts
Posted by RDTF On News/Activism ^ 03/02/2007 8:22:44 AM PST · 35 replies · 1,176+ views


6 posted on 03/03/2007 6:53:39 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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To: NormsRevenge

Not where I am. Sunny this AM and even early PM, but it clouded up by 5PM.


7 posted on 03/03/2007 6:56:24 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: martin_fierro

nada,, it was a nice sunny afternoon. almost 70 too..


8 posted on 03/03/2007 6:57:29 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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To: NormsRevenge

I watched it with my 6 year old son in CT tonight. It was spectacular. Forecast called for rain and there wasn't a cloud to be seen. We found the highest, darkest, most deserted road we could find to view the eclipse. The moon rose red and slowly grew in intensity from its SW corner. Then suddenly an icy brightness pierced its edge as the Earth's umbra yielded. My son squealed with delight as the Sun's bright rays swept across the lunar surface over the following hour. He could barely sleep later he was so excited. I hope others in New England were able to enjoy the show. It was terrific.


9 posted on 03/03/2007 6:57:34 PM PST by montag813
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To: montag813

Sounds like ya had a good seat and a good time too. :-)

Heads up to your son,, we get a total solar eclipse
August 1, 2008.

http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/solar.html


10 posted on 03/03/2007 7:08:34 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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To: NormsRevenge

Projection of the lunar eclipse on a radome covers a observatory in Bochum Sundern, western Germany, Saturday, March 3, 2007. Despite bad weather conditions sometimes visitors are able to observe the entire shading of the moon at midnight for approximately 70 minutes. The next lunar eclipse will be seen in Central Europe in February 2008. (AP Photo/Volker Wiciok)


11 posted on 03/03/2007 7:15:48 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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A Lunar Eclipse is seen above the war memorial outside Westminster Abbey in London, Saturday, March 3, 2007. Amateur star-gazers and astronomers worldwide dusted off their telescopes and unsheathed their binoculars Saturday for the first total lunar eclipse in three years. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)


12 posted on 03/03/2007 7:16:42 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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A sculpture near the Olympic stadium in Barcelona is pictured in front of the moon at the beginning of a lunar eclipse in Barcelona March 3, 2007. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon in orbit around the Earth passes through the earth's shadow, which can be seen cast on to the moon. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino (SPAIN)


13 posted on 03/03/2007 7:18:04 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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A combination of five pictures shows various stages of a lunar eclipse over the sky of Madrid March 4, 2007. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon in orbit around the Earth passes through the earth's shadow, which can be seen cast on to the moon. REUTERS/Paul Hanna (SPAIN)


The beginning of the lunar eclipse is observed as the moon rises near Three Fathom Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada, on Saturday, March 3, 2007. Lunar eclipses occur when Earth passes between the sun and the moon, an uncommon event because the moon spends most of its time either above or below the plane of Earth's orbit. (AP PHOTO/CP, Andrew Vaughan)


14 posted on 03/03/2007 7:19:54 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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.

A sculpture on the Cathedrale of Lausanne is pictured in front of the moon at the beginning of a lunar eclipse in Lausanne March 3, 2007. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon in orbit around the Earth passes through the earth's shadow, which can be seen cast on to the moon. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND)


15 posted on 03/03/2007 7:21:55 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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Last one..

A sculpture on the Cathedrale of Lausanne is pictured in front of the moon at the beginning of a lunar eclipse in Lausanne March 3, 2007. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND)

16 posted on 03/03/2007 7:23:13 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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To: NormsRevenge
Heads up to your son,, we get a total solar eclipse August 1, 2008.

In Cali? I may just head out for it. There is nothing quite like a celestial event out West. You cannot get away from light pollution in CT.

17 posted on 03/03/2007 7:24:45 PM PST by montag813
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To: NormsRevenge
Heads up to your son,, we get a total solar eclipse August 1, 2008.

And there will still be three months to the election!!

BTW, thanks for the post, Norm and for all the great posts you put up. We all could follow your example.

18 posted on 03/03/2007 7:26:37 PM PST by don-o (Fight, fight. fight to drive the GOP to the right!!!!)
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To: montag813

I missed it =(


19 posted on 03/03/2007 8:38:55 PM PST by wastedyears ( Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Awesome pictures!


20 posted on 03/03/2007 8:44:11 PM PST by Lijahsbubbe
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To: montag813

The 2008 total will be far North on our side of the Atlantic, unfortunately

here's a Dynamic Eclipse Map Using GOOGLE Maps

http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/TSE2008google.html


21 posted on 03/03/2007 8:48:22 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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To: don-o

we get a total solar eclipse August 1, 2008.

well, "we" as in some spots on Earth, that is..
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/TSE2008google.html

You're most welcome for the posts and stuff. My pleasure.


22 posted on 03/03/2007 8:50:26 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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To: montag813

What a lovely description! I am so glad your son got a glimpse of the heavens and how they work!


23 posted on 03/03/2007 8:51:20 PM PST by paulat (I'd rather vote for someone who CAN ACTUALLY BE ELECTED)
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To: NormsRevenge

Beautiful pics, NR!! Thank you so much!


24 posted on 03/03/2007 8:53:22 PM PST by paulat (I'd rather vote for someone who CAN ACTUALLY BE ELECTED)
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To: NormsRevenge
solar eclipse August 1, 2008.

I was in downtown Atlanta in the middle 80's and there was a total eclipse of the sun. That was very very strange. I can imagine how people would have just gone bonkers way back in the day.

25 posted on 03/03/2007 8:56:30 PM PST by don-o (Fight, fight. fight to drive the GOP to the right!!!!)
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To: montag813
In Cali? I may just head out for it. There is nothing quite like a celestial event out West. You cannot get away from light pollution in CT.

If it's a solar eclipse, you won't need to worry about light pollution.

26 posted on 03/03/2007 8:59:23 PM PST by mtg
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To: don-o

strange is right... the light to dark effect is eerie and when the jewel appears on the ring of light,, awesome.


27 posted on 03/03/2007 9:04:35 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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To: NormsRevenge

Me and my girlfriend missed the eclipse, but were treated to the coolest sunset either of us have seen in out 78 years combinced experience,


28 posted on 03/03/2007 9:09:12 PM PST by Fierce Allegiance (RINO = Rudy Is Not Ours! Keep scrubbing, Rudy supporters, the blood won't come off.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I recall the birds stopped singing. And the shadows got really weird. The perception shift was like a psychedelic drug experience....uh, I imagine.


29 posted on 03/03/2007 9:11:12 PM PST by don-o (Fight, fight. fight to drive the GOP to the right!!!!)
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