Skip to comments.Lunar eclipse to occur Wednesday night - Last lunar eclipse in years (until 2010)
Posted on 02/20/2008 3:36:23 PM PST by NormsRevenge
LOS ANGELES - The last total lunar eclipse until 2010 occurs Wednesday night, with cameo appearances by Saturn and the bright star Regulus on either side of the veiled full moon.
Skywatchers viewing through a telescope will have the added treat of seeing Saturn's handsome rings.
Weather permitting, the total eclipse can be seen from North and South America. People in Europe and Africa will be able to see it high in the sky before dawn on Thursday.
As the moonlight dims it won't go totally dark Saturn and Regulus will pop out and sandwich the moon. Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation Leo.
Jack Horkheimer, host of the PBS show "Star Gazer," called the event "the moon, the lord of the rings and heart of the lion eclipse."
Wednesday's event will be the last total lunar eclipse until Dec. 20, 2010. Last year there were two.
The weather could be a spoiler for many in the United States. Cloudy skies are expected for most of the Western states with a chance of snow from the heartland to the East Coast, said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service.
"It looks like it's going to be a hard one to spot," Seto said.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the full moon passes into Earth's shadow and is blocked from the sun's rays that normally illuminate it. During an eclipse, the sun, Earth and moon line up, leaving a darkened moon visible to observers on the night side of the planet.
The moon doesn't go black because indirect sunlight still reaches it after passing through the Earth's atmosphere. Since the atmosphere filters out blue light, the indirect light that reaches the moon transforms it into a reddish or orange tinge, depending on how much dust and cloud cover are in the atmosphere at the time.
Wednesday's total eclipse phase will last nearly an hour. Earth's shadow is expected to blot out the moon beginning around 7 p.m. on the West Coast and 10 p.m. on the East Coast. West Coast skygazers will miss the start of the eclipse because it occurs before the moon rises.
Unlike solar eclipses which require protective eyewear, lunar eclipses are safe to view with the naked eye.
Later this year, in August, there will be a total solar eclipse and a partial lunar eclipse.
Moments ago in Hickory, NC not a cloud in the sky. Nikon D80, 80-200 f2.8, ISO 200 F8, @ 1/250 sec
Coming up out of the east. Looks good from the west coast.
Beautiful - here in Virginia.
Got high clouds now, can’t get a good focus anymore. Glad I could post.
Looks great with binocs here in Upstate NY. Mr. Mew’s giving me a celestial tour. But holy moly, is it cold.
we lucked out a bit, can at least see it for now thru a light haze
Thanks much for the pics!
No. But "I'm being followed by a moon shadow..."
It will be at totality from 7pm to 752 pm Pacific time.
Sis, In case you missed it.
Southwestern Ohio (greater Cincinnati area) clear sky, and temperatures in the teens. Nearly 90% lunar eclipse at this point ... excellent viewing.
Abnormally, a clear sky in Pittsburgh.
“...and my kids are freaking out..”
I think it was on AOL last week where they had an interesting article on Christopher Columbus and how he used his maritime charts which predicted a lunar eclipse to scare the Indians into helping him. I suppose google it and it will bring up some things the kids will enjoy.
Here under a clear sky ... the moon is completely in the earth’s shadow @ 10PM eastern.
Seattle partly cloudy
Saved his life according to him. Knowledge is power.
We be totalized! Beautiful evening here south of Seattle, just a few minor wisps of clouds to the East.
It’s not really very red yet, maybe mod-eclipse!
We have some high spots of clouds here but the vision was fine. Neat stuff.
Perfect cloudless night — at total eclipse — here in Cross Junction, VA. Beautiful sight.
Beautiful night here in St. Louis.
Barking Moonbats are quieted by the total eclipse right now.