Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

It was a wonderful night to watch the lunar eclipse last evening. Clear skies provided a great view. Temperature was in the teens around 10 o'clock. This morning the low is around 7 degrees. My good wife is trying to capture the lunar event with her spotting scope. Most of us know that a lunar eclipse is actually when the earth comes between the sun and the moon in such a special way that the shadow of the earth is cast upon the surface of the moon.

I remember listening to an oral exam being conducted at GSC for folks in science education. The student was explaining how an eclipse occurred when the sun came between the earth and the moon! She did not think that the mass of the sun would quickly incinerate both the earth and the moon!

In the past 12 months, we have had three lunar eclipses. A total lunar ecipse will not happen again until 2010. This eclipse came with a rare bonus. The planet Saturn and the bright bluish star Regulus formed a broad triangle with the moon's ruddy disk. This double event was the only one of its kind occurring within the next millennium!


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