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Lunar Eclipses


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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 10:01 PM

Lunar Eclipse

February 12, 2007: Picture this: The year is 2025 and you're on the moon. "Home" is 100 meters away—an outpost on the rim of Shackleton Crater. NASA started building it five years earlier, and it is growing fast. You're one of the construction workers.

As always in these polar regions, the sun hangs low, barely above the craggy lunar horizon. You adjust your visor. It amazes you how bright a low sun can be when there's no atmosphere to dim it.

Suddenly, the lights go out.

Up in the sky, a big black disk covers the sun. A red "ring of fire" appears where the sun was only moments before, and its glow turns the ground red beneath your feet.

You've been waiting for this. It's an eclipse.

linked-image
Above: On the moon, the ground turns red during a lunar
eclipse. This photo was taken by Doug Murray of Palm
Beach Gardens, Florida, during the total lunar eclipse of
Oct. 27, 2004.
[More]


Astronauts on the moon are going to experience eclipses typically once or twice a year: Earth glides in front of the sun turning lunar day into a strange kind of ruddy night. It'll be one of the highlights of any lunar tour.

The charm of the eclipse comes from Earth. Our planet is big enough by a factor of three to block the entire sun but, curiously, this doesn't cause complete darkness. Rays of sunlight bend around the edge of Earth, filtering through the atmosphere. As seen from the moon, the edge of Earth lights up like a sunset-red ring of fire—one of the most beautiful sights in the solar system. (A simplified, 1.2 MB animation of the process may be seen here. Credit: Graphic artist Larry Koehn.)

Can't wait until 2025? The next eclipse is right around the corner: Saturday, March 3, 2007. Stuck on Earth, we can't see the ring of fire, but we can see the red glow it produces on the moon. The phenomenon will be visible from parts of all seven continents including the eastern half of North America.

linked-image
Above: A visibility map of the March 3, 2007, total lunar eclipse.
Credit: Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC.
[More]


In the USA, the eclipse will already be underway when the moon rises on Saturday evening. Observing tip: Find a place with a clear view of the eastern horizon and station yourself there at sunset. As the sun goes down behind you, a red moon will rise before your eyes.

Rising moons are often reddened by clouds or pollution, but this moon will be the deep, extraordinary red only seen during a lunar eclipse. As you watch it ascend into the night, imagine what it would be like to stand by Shackleton Crater watching from the opposite direction.

It's not so far-fetched. NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon no later than 2020. From their polar base camp, humans will explore the countryside hunting for resources they can use to "live off the land." They'll study the moon's geology, learning more about the unique potential of the moon to reveal ancient secrets of Earth and the solar system. They'll also evaluate evaluate technologies needed for future missions to Mars.

And occasionally when the ground turns red, they'll pause and look up at a glowing ring in the sky.

March 3rd is a good night to imagine that.

Author: Dr. Tony Phillips | Production Editor: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA

____________________________________________

More to the story...

NASA's eclipse home page -- more information about the March 3, 2007, total lunar eclipse.

Nomenclature: Solar vs. lunar eclipses. What's the correct name for the astronomical event described in this story? Here on Earth we call it a "lunar eclipse," because the moon is darkened as it passes through Earth's red shadow. But on the moon, it is the sun that is darkened by the intervening body of the Earth. Future astronauts will probably call this a "solar eclipse." It all depends on your point of view.

Eclipse Frequency: How often will astronauts on the moon see Earth eclipse the sun?
According to expert Fred Espenak of NASA/GSFC, "during the five millennium period from 2000BC through 3000 AD, there are 7,718 eclipses of the Moon (including both partial and total). There are anywhere from 0 to 3 lunar eclipses (including partial and total) each year. The last time that three total lunar eclipses occurred in one calendar year was in 1982. Partial eclipses slightly outnumber total eclipses by 7 to 6." [More]

In short, one or two total eclipses per year is typical; three is possible on rare occasions.

Why the Moon? -- answers from NASA

The Vision for Space Exploration


Source: Science@NASA

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#2    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 01:59 AM

A Total Eclipse of the Moon: March 3rd 2007

The Jodrell Bank Observatory press release is reproduced below:

If the sky is clear on the night of March the 3rd we will be able to witness the first total eclipse of the Moon visible from the United Kingdom for three years and the best since January 2001. With the Moon's colour during totality ranging from dark coppery-brown to bright orange it can be a most beautiful sight. Though not as spectacular as a total Solar eclipse, it will be visible from the whole dark side of the Earth and is totally safe to observe. No protective filters are needed and the Moon will appear considerably less bright than the normal Full Moon.

linked-image
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During the period of totality, from 22:24 to 23:58, the Moon is only illuminated by light that has filtered through the Earth's atmosphere and its appearance depends on the amount of dust in the atmosphere: following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1992, which released large amounts of volcanic ash into the atmosphere, the eclipsed Moon was nearly invisible. As the Earth has not had a major eruption for some years we can expect an impressive sight!

Ian Morison of the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory explains: "If the Earth had no atmosphere the Moon would become invisible when it fully enters the Earth's shadow. However, light refracted and scattered through the atmosphere can still illuminate the Moon though with far reduced brightness. As blue light is scattered by the atmosphere more than red light (which is why our skies are blue) the light that remains is predominately red and orange - the colour of the Sun when close to the horizon. If there were astronauts on the surface of the Moon looking towards the Earth during a total lunar eclipse they would see a black disc surrounded by a bright red ring. It is the light from this ring that we see reflected by the Moon's surface."

The Moon will start to be partially eclipsed at 20:16 as it enters the Earth's penumbra, but the effects will be difficult to see. Only when part of the Moon's disc enter the full shadow region, the umbra, does the reduction in brightness and the colouration become obvious. The Moon will star to enter the umbra at 21:30 and be fully immersed in the Earth's shadow by 22:44. Mid-eclipse is at 23:21 and the Moon will begin to emerge from the umbral region at 23:58. The eclipse will be finally over at 02:25.

The eclipse can be observed anywhere, even in the centre of a large town, but dark skies will enable it to be seen at its best. The Moon will be seen in the south at an elevation of ~ 44 degrees. Binoculars would be a useful aid, but are not needed.

A total eclipse of the Moon occurs when the Earth lies precisely between the Moon and the Sun, and can thus only happen at full Moon. As there is a full Moon every 29 and a half days one might wonder why there is not an eclipse each month. This does not happen because the Moon's orbit is inclined at 5 degrees to the Earth's orbit around the Sun and the Earths shadow usually passes above or below the Moon.


Source: Jodrell Bank press release 2007/02

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#3    MUM24/7

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 02:10 AM

Don't forget your sunnies......
BTW Will it be visible from Sydney ?

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence,

Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race....

#4    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 02:22 AM

Quote

Don't forget your sunnies......


It's an eclipse of the moon, not the sun. It will occur at night and you won't need sunnies.

Quote

BTW Will it be visible from Sydney ?

Unfortunately not.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#5    MUM24/7

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 02:26 AM

Quote

It's an eclipse of the moon, not the sun. It will occur at night and you won't need sunnies.
Unfortunately not.


Fair enough then......I see looking at the stars has affected your sense of humour...... rolleyes.gif

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence,

Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race....

#6    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 02:36 AM

Quote

Fair enough then......I see looking at the stars has affected your sense of humour...... rolleyes.gif

Not really, it can be very difficult to know the level of knowledge of someone on a board such as this or when someone is joking.

Had you included the smilie in your first message rather than your second I would have known you were joking.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#7    MUM24/7

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:05 AM

Quote

Not really, it can be very difficult to know the level of knowledge of someone on a board such as this or when someone is joking.

Had you included the smilie in your first message rather than your second I would have known you were joking.



thumbsup.gif Good point...... original.gif  original.gif  original.gif

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence,

Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race....

#8    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 07:06 PM

Two Eclipses, One Observed Only by NASA

That’s right! The Moon is the central figure in two different kinds of eclipses within one week. Here’s how. A total lunar eclipse, partly visible from every continent around the world, will occur on March 3 when the Moon will pass into and out of the shadow of Earth. The Moon will appear to glow with a distinct reddish cast. The entire event will be visible from Europe, Africa and western Asia. In eastern Asia, Moonset occurs during various stages of the eclipse. For example, the Moon sets while in total eclipse from central China and southeast Asia. Western Australia catches part of the initial partial phases but the Moon sets before totality. Observers in eastern North and South America will find the Moon already partially or totality eclipsed at Moonrise. From western North America, only the final phases are visible.

linked-image
Image above: Total Lunar Eclipse: 2004.
Credit: Fred Espenak.


Here in the United States, you have to be in the eastern half of the country to see the total eclipse. At the end of the day on Saturday, go outside and face east. As the sun sets in the western skies, a red Moon will rise before your eyes--fantastic! Maximum eclipse is at 6:21 p.m. EST. The next total lunar eclipse will occur on August 28 this summer. Lunar Eclipse

linked-image
Video above: STEREO spacecraft captures a lunar transit of the sun. Click on image to view video.
Credit: NASA.

+ STEREO high resolution images

On Feb. 25, 2007 there was another kind of eclipse of the Moon when it crossed the face of the Sun - but it could not be seen from Earth. This sight was visible only from the STEREO-B spacecraft in its orbit about the sun, trailing behind the Earth. NASA's STEREO mission consists of two spacecraft launched in October, 2006 to study solar storms. The transit started at 1:56 am EST and continued for 12 hours until 1:57 pm EST. STEREO-B is currently about one million miles from the Earth, 4.4 times farther away from the Moon than we are on Earth. As a result, the Moon will appear 4.4 times smaller than what we are used to. This is still, however, much larger than, say, the planet Venus appeared when in transited the Sun as seen from Earth in 2004. This alignment of STEREO-B and the Moon was not just due to luck. It was arranged with a small tweak to STEREO-B's orbit last December. The transit is quite useful to STEREO scientists for measuring the focus and the amount of scattered light in the STEREO imagers and for determining the pointing of the STEREO coronagraphs. The Sun as it appears in these the images and each frame of the movie is a composite of nearly simultaneous images in four different wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light that were separated into color channels and then recombined with some level of transparency for each.

+ Click here for additional eclipse details


Steele Hill
STEREO and SOHO Project


Source: NASA - STEREO - News

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#9    Belial

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 12:17 PM

can't wait, hope it's a clear night.

Where it states "For official use only" - gently rub a white wax candle over the area indicated.

#10    Cinders

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 05:02 PM

I am about 99% sure we here in Portland, Oregon are going to miss this... It's been overcast and UGLY for the past 2 days -- and I checked weather.com, and the 10 day forecast shows clouds and rain every day! *sigh*

However, On February 28 2007.. WE got to see the moon!  laugh.gif

At the time, I had my DV Camcorder set up with WebcamXP software.. broadcasting live webcam . (it's a great way for me to really practice working with my DV Camcorder)

Anyway, while we were all text chatting and watching my webcam.. the CLOUDS finally parted and showed us the moon!

I captured a few snapshots of it and compiled them into swf to view online here if you wish to see...

http://img407.imageshack.us/my.php?image=s...02282007wk7.swf

Edited by Cinders, 03 March 2007 - 05:04 PM.

"We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it's forever." ~Carl Sagan


#11    Luziadus

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 06:46 PM

I will see I will see grin2.gif
Oh God I saw the moon now and its huge here,we have a clearly and perfect sky to watch it.

Edited by Endymion, 03 March 2007 - 06:47 PM.

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#12    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 11:03 PM

It's 23:00 GMT. The moon is now totally eclipse. The sky here is beautifully clear. The colour of the moon is darker than the copper colour often seen, but I would not go as far as to say that it is blood red. This is the best Lunar Eclipse I have seen for well over a decade.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#13    Princess Serenity

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 11:12 PM

I heard about this. Hey, Wrasp. Do you know if I'll be able to see it? I'm on the Eastern Side of the States. I wanna see another eclipse!


#14    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 11:26 PM

Quote

I heard about this. Hey, Wrasp. Do you know if I'll be able to see it? I'm on the Eastern Side of the States. I wanna see another eclipse!


Yes. In east and central North America the moon will rise/has risen already eclipsed. It is not visible from Western USA and Canada.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#15    Princess Serenity

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 11:49 PM

Ok. Thank you for answering my question. :3





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