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Lunar Eclipses


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#31    stevewinn

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 01:50 PM


Hi, Moon princess, Cinders thumbsup.gif

I'm glad you liked the images,

Bye

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#32    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 03:49 AM

ESA watched full Moon withering behind Mother Earth’s shadow

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This image of the Moon was taken in the early stages of the total lunar eclipse on 3
March 2007. North on the Moon is to the upper left corner in this view, which shows
the Moon's western limb already well within the Earth's shadow.

Credits: ESA


7 March 2007
A total lunar eclipse was visible from Europe and partly from every other continent around the world in the night between Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 March 2007.

At a cloudless sky, observers could then see the moon passing through the Earth's shadow, with the greatest eclipse occurring at around 00:21 CET on 4 March. In the meanwhile, ESA was watching.

The first partial eclipse phase, which could be observed as a slight reduction or discolouring of the moonlight started at 22:30 CET when the moon entered the Earth's penumbra. From 23:44 CET on 3 March until 00:57 CET on 4 March - the totality lasted for 73 minutes – finally the full moon completely disappeared within the Earth's umbral shadow. But although it was a total lunar eclipse the moon still was visible as a pale auburn disc due to the fact that some sunlight always caroms on the moon because of the refraction within the Earth's atmosphere. Following the total eclipse, it took the moon another 74 minutes until it had finally left the Earth's shadow at 02:11 CET.

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This image was taken during the partial eclipse phase of the 3 March 2007 total lunar
eclipse, about 10 minutes after the end of totality.

Credits: ESA


"The Moon is daughter of the Earth, and moves a few times per year in its mother's shade … for the short time of an eclipse," says Bernard Foing SMART-1 Project scientist. "An eclipse is an opportunity for scientists to share with the public and children a beautiful cosmic show, and our connection to the Moon."

Four and a half thousand million years ago, a planet embryo impacted the Earth and projected debris in space that then re-condensed to form the Moon.

For the public a lunar eclipse always gives also an opportunity to observe the Moon and learn more about the lunar geography, as various craters will be hidden and emerge from shadow at well defined times. Scientists use this opportunity to measure how fast the surface cool after the sudden eclipse and can map the thermal properties of the soil.

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This photo-montage shows a series of images taken with the AMIE camera on board
SMART-1 during the second lunar total eclipse the spacecraft witnessed from space.

This eclipse took place on 28 October 2004. At that time, SMART-1 was about 290 000
km away from Earth and at its farthest planned distance from the Moon of about 660 000
km. From its vantage point, SMART-1 could see and photograph, for the first time ever,
both the Earth and Moon during a lunar eclipse.

The images of the Moon are shown here in a temporal sequence, from left to right. They
were taken with the AMIE camera, in visible light, between 1.14 UTC and 4.44 UTC. The
‘totality’ phase, in the middle of the sequence when the Moon is completely inside the
Earth’s shadow, lasted about an hour from 2.23 UTC and 3.24 UTC.

The images of the Earth shown here were taken just before and after the eclipse. The
apparent relative size of the Earth and Moon, as shown in this picture, is exactly as seen
by SMART-1.

The relative distance between the two bodies, however, is not to scale. In fact, the Earth
and Moon were farther apart than the field of view of AMIE and could not simultaneously
fit within a single image. For this reason, a sequence of images was taken instead.

In reality, the physical size of the Earth is about 3.7 times larger than that of the Moon;
their diameters are about 12 800 km and 3500 km, respectively. As SMART-1 was
farther away from the Moon than from Earth, the difference appears exaggerated.

Credits: ESA/Space-XA


On 27 October 2004 for example, when the previous total lunar eclipse occurred, ESA's space probe SMART-1 was able to take valuable images from the moon surface during the obscuration. "SMART-1 is still the only spacecraft to have taken an Earth-Moon family portrait from space during a lunar eclipse," says Bernard Foing. "During the next eclipse date in February 2008, the satellites Selene from Japan and Chang'E 1 from China (due for launch in the second part of 2007), will be around the Moon and observe the occurrence of this special event from space."

In 2007, the next total lunar eclipse on 28 August and the partial solar eclipses on March 19 and September 11 will not be visible from Europe. People from Europe who missed the beautiful show have to wait almost for a year, namely until 21 February 2008, until they can watch an assailable celestial spectacle.


Source: ESA - Space Science

"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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#33    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 10:06 AM

Dreamy Lunar Eclipse

August 3, 2007: Close your eyes, breath deeply, let your mind wander to a distant seashore: It's late in the day, and the western sun is sinking into the glittering waves. At your feet, damp sand reflects the twilight, while overhead, the deep blue sky fades into a cloudy mélange of sunset copper and gold, so vivid it almost takes your breath away.

A breeze touches the back of your neck, and you turn to see a pale full Moon rising into the night. Hmmm. The Moon could use a dash more color. You reach out, grab a handful of sunset, and drape the Moon with phantasmic light. Much better.

Too bad it's only a dream...

Early Tuesday morning, August 28th, the dream will come true. There's going to be a colorful lunar eclipse visible from five continents including most of North America: map.

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Above: Photos of the March 3, 2007, lunar eclipse.
Credit: Antonio Finazzi and Michele Festa of Lago di Garda, Italy. [Larger image]


The event begins 54 minutes past midnight PDT (0754 UT) on August 28th when the Moon enters Earth's shadow. At first, there's little change. The outskirts of Earth's shadow are as pale as the Moon itself; an onlooker might not even realize anything is happening. But as the Moon penetrates deeper, a startling metamorphosis occurs. Around 2:52 am PDT (0952 UT), the color of the Moon changes from moondust-gray to sunset-red. This is totality, and it lasts for 90 minutes.

To understand why the change occurs, close your eyes and dream yourself all the way to the Moon. Once again, you're standing on a seashore—the Sea of Tranquillity. There's no water. You're surrounded by hundreds of miles of dusty, hardened lava. Overhead hangs Earth, nightside down, completely hiding the Sun behind it. The eclipse is underway.

With the Sun blocked, you might expect utter darkness, but no, the ground at your feet is aglow. Why? Look back up at Earth. The rim of the planet seems to be on fire. Around Earth's circumference you see every sunrise and sunset in the world—all at once. This incredible light beams into the heart of Earth's shadow, transforming the Moon into a landscape of copper moondust and golden hills.

Wake up! This is really going to happen, and some planning is necessary. Start times of totality are listed in the table below. Set your alarm an hour or so in advance to gather snacks and dress warmly. (Even in August, four o'clock in the morning can be chilly.) Waking up early also allows you to catch some of the partial eclipse before totality.

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The eclipse will be visible from Australia, Japan, parts of Asia and most of the Americas, but not from Africa or Europe. Pacific observers are favored. On the west coast of the United States, the entire eclipse will unfold high in the post-midnight sky. On the east coast, totality will be truncated by sunrise. That's okay; even a little eclipse can be a dream.


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

____________________________________________

More Information

NASA's eclipse home page -- more information about the Aug. 28, 2007, total lunar eclipse.

NASA's Future: 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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#34    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:52 PM

Total Lunar Eclipse Draws Attention Back to the Moon
08.21.07

As August draws to an end, watchers of the night sky will be in for a treat. In the early morning hours of August 28, sky watchers across much of the world can look on as the Moon crosses in to the shadow of the Earth, becoming completely immersed for one-hour and 30 minutes, a period of time much longer than most typical lunar eclipses. In fact, this eclipse will be the deepest and longest in 7 years.

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Image above: This picture of total lunar eclipse was capture January 20-21, 2000. Image credit: Mr. Eclipse/Fred Espanack, www.mreclipse.com. (Click to enlarge)

The event begins 54 minutes past midnight PDT (3:54 a.m. EDT) on August 28. At first, there is little change. The outskirts of Earth's shadow are as pale as the Moon itself; an onlooker might not even realize anything is happening. But as the Moon penetrates deeper in to the Earth’s shadow, a startling metamorphosis occurs. Around 2:52 a.m. PDT (5:52 a.m. EDT) the color of the Moon changes from moondust-gray to sunset-red. This is totality, and it lasts for almost 90 minutes.

With the Sun blocked, you might expect utter darkness, but instead the ground at your feet appears to be aglow. Why? Look back up at Earth. The rim of the planet seems to be on fire. Around the Earth's circumference you will witness every sunrise and sunset in the world—all at once. This incredible, colorful light beams into the heart of Earth’s shadow, transforming the Moon into a landscape of copper moondust and golden hills. The eclipse will be visible from Australia, parts of Asia and most of the Americas, but not from Africa or Europe. The view is different from each location on the planet. Here in the United States, Pacific observers are favored. For them the entire eclipse will unfold high in the post-midnight sky. However, on the East Coast, totality will be cut off early by sunrise.

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Image above: This map shows the start times for viewing the eclipse for the time zones of the United States. Image credit: NASA. (Click to enlarge)

Here is some of what you can expect to see from various locations across the country:
  • Viewers on the West Coast will get the best show. For them the entire eclipse will be visible from start to finish before moonset in the early morning hours of Tuesday, August 28, 2007.
  • Hawaiians will be able to see the full eclipse, or totality, around midnight.
  • For viewers on the East Coast and in the Great Lakes States, the eclipse will start around dawn and will still be occurring when the Sun rises and the Moon sets that morning.
  • Finally, across the Mid-West, Plains, and Rocky Mountain States the totality has already ended before the Moon sets and viewers there will only see a partial eclipse as the Moon emerges from the shadow of the Earth.

While sky watchers focus their attention on the eclipse, NASA scientists and engineers are looking at the Moon for a different reason. NASA is getting ready to take its first steps back to the Moon, nearly 40 years after the first human Moon landing.

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Image above: Totality is embraced by the partial phases of the 2000 total lunar eclipse. Image credit: Mr. Eclipse/Fred Espanack, www.mreclipse.com.

Next year NASA will launch the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to compile the first all digital, next generation maps of the Moon, which will measure topography, temperature, resources, and hazards. Although it is the Earth’s closest neighbor, scientists still know relatively little about the Moon, aside from the six Apollo human landing sites. LRO will dramatically change all that by acting like a "chart-making" Renaissance-era explorer. It will reveal the mysteries of the lunar polar regions while also evaluating from above the changes that have taken place since humans left the lunar surface in December 1972, when Apollo 17 blasted off to return to Earth.

LRO is the first mission in an endeavor to extend a human presence into the solar system, starting with a return to the Moon. Returning to the Moon will enable the pursuit of scientific activities that address our fundamental questions about the history of Earth, the solar system and the universe - and about our place in them, including aspects of the search for life beyond our home planet.

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Image above: Image of the LRO spacecraft in orbit
around the Moon
Image credit: NASA.


LRO is a robotic mission designed to create a boldly new type of comprehensive, digital map of the Moon's features and resources, necessary to cost-effectively engineer a human outpost on the Moon. LRO follows in the footsteps of the robotic predecessors to the Apollo human missions - missions designed in part to search for the safest possible human landing sites (such as the Ranger, Lunar Orbiter and Surveyor missions). However, the goals of LRO go far beyond the requirements of these previous missions.

LRO focuses on the selection of safe landing sites, identification of lunar resources, and the study of how the Moon’s environment will affect humans. In particular, LRO will explore the nearly unknown lunar polar regions, which may prove ideal settings for a sustainable human outpost thanks to nearly constant sunlight and potential resources. LRO’s topographic mapping of the Moon will usher in a new era of Earth and planetary remote sensing, and potentially catalyze solutions of benefit here on Earth, as scientists measure the signatures of climate change.

LRO is scheduled for launch in fall of 2008 on an Atlas V 401 rocket. The spacecraft’s final orbit will be a circular polar orbit approximately 50 km above the Moon's surface (just over 30 miles), closer than any other lunar mission. Indeed, the LRO "vantage point" will be somewhat like flying in a high-altitude airplane around Earth, mapping as it goes. The August 28 eclipse will be a spectacular site, drawing the attention and curiosity of people around the world to the Moon. While there is still much to learn about this planetary body, NASA is taking the first steps to uncover the Moon’s remaining mysteries. The Moon will forever be linked to the history of Earth and, thanks to events such as this year’s enthralling eclipse and the upcoming LRO mission, we can all participate in a new era of lunar exploration.

For more information, please visit the NASA LRO web site:


For more information about NASA eclipse home page, visit:

Laura Spector
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


Source: NASA - Exploring the Universe - Watch the Skies

"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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#35    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 10:22 AM

Exploding Lunar Eclipse

August 27, 2007: Most people appreciate lunar eclipses for their silent midnight beauty. NASA astronomer Bill Cooke is different: he loves the explosions.

On Tuesday morning, Aug. 28th, Earth's shadow will settle across the Moon for a 90-minute total eclipse: full story. In the midst of the lunar darkness, Cooke hopes to record some flashes of light--explosions caused by meteoroids crashing into the Moon and blasting themselves to smithereens.

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Above: A lunar meteoroid strike, artist's concept.

"The eclipse is a great time to look," says Cooke, who heads up NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) at the Marshall Space Flight Center. The entire face of the Moon will be in shadow for more than two hours, offering more than 7 million sq. miles of dark terrain as target for incoming meteoroids.

Lunar explosions are nothing new. Cooke's team has been monitoring the Moon since late 2005 and they've recorded 62 impacts so far. "Meteoroids that hit Earth disintegrate in the atmosphere, producing a harmless streak of light. But the Moon has no atmosphere, so 'lunar meteors' plunge into the ground," he says. Typical strikes release as much energy as 100 kg of TNT, gouging craters several meters wide and producing bursts of light bright enough to be seen 240,000 miles away on Earth through ordinary backyard telescopes.

"About half of the impacts we see come from regular meteor showers like the Perseids and Leonids," says MEO team-member Danielle Moser. "The other half are 'sporadic' meteors associated with no particular asteroid or comet.".

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Above: A Moon-map of lunar meteoroid impacts observed by the MEO group since Dec. 2005. [Larger image] [More]

The MEO observatory is located on the grounds of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and consists of two 14-inch telescopes equipped with sensitive low-light video cameras. Moser and colleague Victoria Coffey will be on duty Tuesday morning.

During the eclipse, they hope to catch an elusive variety of meteor called Helions.

"Helion meteoroids come from the direction of the sun," Cooke says, "and that makes them very difficult to observe." They streak across the sky most often around local noon when the sun's glare is too intense for meteor watching.

Wait a minute. Meteors from the sun? "The sun itself is not the source," he explains. "We believe Helion meteoroids come from ancient sungrazing comets that laid down trails of dusty debris in the vicinity of the sun."

No one can be certain, however, because Helion meteoroids are so devilishly difficult to study. Astronomers see them only in small numbers briefly before dawn or after sunset. Attempts to study Helions via radar during the day have been foiled, to a degree, by terrestrial radio interference and natural radio bursts from the sun—both of which can drown out meteoroid "pings."

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Above: The MEO observatory at the Marshall Space
Flight Center. [Larger image]


Enter the eclipse.

During the eclipse, the Man in the Moon (the face we see from Earth) will be turned squarely toward the sun—"perfect geometry for intercepting Helion meteoroids," says Moser. "And with Earth's shadow providing some darkness, we should be able to see any explosions quite clearly."

"Watching Helion meteoroids hit the Moon and studying the flashes will tell us more about their size, velocity and penetration," she adds. That, in turn, will further the MEO's goal of estimating meteoroid hazards to spacecraft and future Moon-walking astronauts.

No one has ever seen a lunar impact during an eclipse, "but there's a first time for everything," Cooke says. Stay tuned to Science@NASA for results.


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

____________________________________________

More Information

ALERT: Bill Cooke encourages amateur astronomers to monitor the Moon during the eclipse and report any flashes they record to the Meteoroid Environment Office. Typical flashes are 6th to 7th magnitude, easy targets for mid-sized backyard telescopes equipped with digital video cameras. Click here for instructions.

NASA Meteoroid Environment Office -- home page

Dreamy Lunar Eclipse -- (Science@NASA) more information about the Aug. 28th lunar Eclipse

A Meteoroid Hits the Moon -- (Science@NASA) The best recording to-date of a lunar explosion in progress.

An Explosion on the Moon -- (Science@NASA) A piece of Comet Encke hits Mare Imbrium causing an explosion visible from Earth

NASA's Future: 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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#36    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 12:38 AM

Total Lunar Eclipse

Feb. 13, 2008: On Wednesday evening, February 20th, the full Moon over the Americas will turn a delightful shade of red and possibly turquoise, too. It's a total lunar eclipse—the last one until Dec. 2010.

The Sun goes down. The Moon comes up. You go out and look at the sky. Observing the eclipse is that easy. Maximum eclipse, and maximum beauty, occurs at 10:26 pm EST (7:26 pm PST).

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Above: A preview of the Feb. 20th lunar eclipse created by graphic artist Larry Koehn. Click on the links to view labels for other time zones: GMT, AST, EST, CST, MST, PST, Alaska, Hawaii.

A lunar eclipse happens when the Moon passes through the shadow of Earth. You might expect the Moon to grow even more ashen than usual, but in fact it transforms into an orb of vivid red.

Why red? That is the color of Earth's shadow.


Consider the following: Most shadows we're familiar with are black or gray; step outside on a sunny day and look at your own. Earth's shadow is different because, unlike you, Earth has an atmosphere. The delicate layer of dusty air surrounding our planet reddens and redirects the light of the sun, filling the dark behind Earth with a sunset-red glow. The exact tint--anything from bright orange to blood red is possible--depends on the unpredictable state of the atmosphere at the time of the eclipse. "Only the shadow knows," says astronomer Jack Horkheimer of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium.

Transiting the shadow's core takes about an hour. The first hints of red appear around 10 pm EST (7 pm PST), heralding a profusion of coppery hues that roll across the Moon's surface enveloping every crater, mountain and moon rock, only to fade away again after 11 pm EST (8 pm PST). No special filter or telescope is required to see this spectacular event. It is a bright and leisurely display visible from cities and countryside alike.

While you're watching, be alert for another color: turquoise. Observers of several recent lunar eclipses have reported a flash of turquoise bracketing the red of totality.

"The blue and turquoise shades at the edge of Earth's shadow were incredible," recalls amateur astronomer Eva Seidenfaden of Trier, Germany, who took the picture at right during the European lunar eclipse of March 3-4, 2007. Dozens of other photographers have documented the same phenomenon.

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Above: A "turquoise eclipse" photographed by
Eva Seidenfaden of Trier, Germany, on March 4,
2007. [Larger image] [more]


The source of the turquoise is ozone. Eclipse researcher Dr. Richard Keen of the University of Colorado explains: "During a lunar eclipse, most of the light illuminating the moon passes through the stratosphere where it is reddened by scattering. However, light passing through the upper stratosphere penetrates the ozone layer, which absorbs red light and actually makes the passing light ray bluer." This can be seen, he says, as a soft blue fringe around the red core of Earth's shadow.

To catch the turquoise on Feb. 20th, he advises, "look during the first and last minutes of totality." That would be around 10:01 pm EST and 10:51 pm EST (7:01 and 7:51 pm PST).

Blood red, bright orange, gentle turquoise: it's all good. Mark your calendar in vivid color for the Feb. 20th lunar eclipse.

Editor's note: This story is written for an American audience, but not only Americans can see the eclipse. People in Europe and western Africa are also favored. International maps and timetables may be found here.


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

____________________________________________

More Information

Shadow and Substance -- eclipse animations created by graphic artist Larry Koehn

Don't Miss The Last Total Lunar Eclipse For Three Years! -- Jack Horkheimer, Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium

Eclipse visibility map -- sky watchers in the Americas, Europe, and parts of western Africa can observe the eclipse.

Total Eclipse of the Moon: Feb. 20, 2008 -- complete details from NASA's eclipse expert Fred Espenak

NASA's Future: 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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#37    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 11:40 PM

Pictures from the lunar eclipse, courtesy of ESA astronomers

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This picture of the moon during was taken by an ESA astronomer at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Spain.

Credits: Manuel Castillo

21 February 2008
The lunar eclipse this morning, visible in its totality across most of western Europe, was quite a spectacle. Some of ESA's astronomy enthusiasts took this last chance until 2010, to take pictures of the eclipse early this morning.

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This 3D image of the lunar eclipse was produced from observations coordinated across the globe, in Argentina and Spain. Stereoscopic glasses are required to view it.

The images were captured at Arenales y Agüero, Capital Federal, Argentina and Majadahonda, Spain. The first of the two images was taken with a Meade LX 90 telescope and an Olympus Evolt E-500 camera and the second with a 9 cm/F10 Matsukov-Cassegrain Telescope and a Canon400D camera. The latter was shot at 2:56 am CET.

Credits: Manuel Castillo, Adriana Fernández, Leonardo Julio, Alejandro Tombolini


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Taken in Leiden, the Netherlands

Credits: Cyril Simon

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At 4:15 CET, from Wassenaar, the Netherlands, with a digital camera, over five seconds.

Credits: Bernard Foing

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Taken in Leiden, the Netherlands

Credits: Cyril Simon

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Total lunar eclipse, 21 February 2008, as seen in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Credits: Bernhard Dorner

Source: ESA - Space Science - 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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