December 20, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse

Have you heard about tonight's total lunar eclipse? According to National Geographic, "A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon, Earth, and the sun all line up, with Earth in the middle. During the eclipse, Earth's shadow is cast onto the full moon, dimming—but not completely obscuring—its surface." Apparently, this is the first time since 1638 that a total lunar eclipse of a full moon coincides with the winter solstice (as a result, the moon will feature quite prominently in the night sky in the northern hemisphere, from 9:55pm to 2:01 am PST).

Too bad the probability of my seeing anything of interest will be next to nil considering California has been afflicted with opaque, heavy grey clouds and seemingly endless bouts of rain over the past few days which show no signs of abating soon. It's comforting to know that I can always live vicariously through NASA, which will be hosting a live video feed of the lunar eclipse on their website. The giant astronomy nerd inside me sighs with relief.

{Image via here}

5 comments:

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

I so wish it wasn't raining right now. I kind of enjoyed walking in the rain earlier, but I was hoping it would depart for the eclipse.

Joanna said...

Me too! I was bummed to see nothing but clouds on my late night walk. Thank God for the internet!

Kimia Kline said...

i wanted to go see the eclipse so badly, but it was so foggy i didnt bother. did you end up going??

Maggie said...

I exclaimed over how huge and bright the moon was when I was out running errands that night, but can you believe that I had no idea that later that evening there was supposed to be such an amazing eclipse? I only found out the next day. I must be living under a rock! :) As you say, I'm thankful for the internet!

Marisa Midori said...

I wish I'd known about the live feed on NASA! It was cloudy here in Vancouver, too. (Also cool fact: the lunar eclipse coinciding with the winter solstice also meant it was the darkest day in almost four hundred years!)