Total Eclipse !

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Joe Andrews
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Total Eclipse !

Post by Joe Andrews » Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:13 pm

Total Lunar Eclipse !

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).

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.

Right: 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.

And check it out - you will be glad you did! :lol:

Special thanks to NASA for this interesting announcement........ :D
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Dust In The Wind
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Re: Total Eclipse !

Post by Dust In The Wind » Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:22 pm

I love this stuff makes for an interesting time the whole family can enjoy. I use this sight http://www.nightskyinfo.com/ frequently for some good info on whats happening in our skies. Found it one day looking for some info on another event. This gives you when and where you can view all the planets and other special events during the week.

JUST DUST

PS - Thanks Joe, I would be interested in the sight where you got your info if you could post it.
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Re: Total Eclipse !

Post by HEXA » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:51 pm

Thanks for sharing this info, both of ya.

xox
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Primal Instincts
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Re: Total Eclipse !

Post by Primal Instincts » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:51 pm

Yup great stuff you two......thanks for sharin that......watched the eclipse last night over the Cascades on a clear starry night.......awesome....
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WIST
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Re: Total Eclipse !

Post by WIST » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:32 am

Our moon was a beautiful shade of slightly burnt orange. I'm so glad i saw this post, ty Joe. I made sure friends and family knew about it, and watched and we compared descriptions of the color. I found it interesting that the color was described differently by others who were looking at the same moon at the same time i was.
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holy_diver
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Re: Total Eclipse !

Post by holy_diver » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:17 am

if it looked red i think that means your area has some air pollution...i think

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WIST
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Re: Total Eclipse !

Post by WIST » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:52 pm

That's possible, diver.. i think i read something about the color being determined by the amount of dust particles and since i live close to a large city, that makes sense.
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