Lunar Eclipse

June 15th, 2011

I came up to the roof to hang up some wet laundry to dry, and stayed to watch the lunar eclipse.

I watched the bright shiny white moon shrink into a crescent, like a waning moon on fast-forward, until it was a glowing red ball.  The movement them became less noticeable as the moon passed through the penumbra shadow, where the change was a slow darkening of the glowing red orb.

It is now nearly completely dark, but of course as I type that, the eclipse is continuing on it’s marry way and is already beginning to lighten ever so slightly.

I can confirm with total certainty that lunar eclipses do not drive dogs and other animals crazy.  The neighborhood canines have been no louder or quieter tonight than any other non-lunar-event evening.

I wanted to take pictures to add to this post.  The only camera I have is the one on my phone, and the only pictures I got off of it tonight were of blackness.  One had a little white smudge in the middle, but that could have been dirt.  Not that I would have known what to do with a real camera.

I first started watching when the moon was at about 3 quarters covered by the penumbra.  It is now an hour and a half later, and the moon has passed into the Earth’s umbra and has begun to emerge out the other side.  As cool as this is to watch, I am still me and I still have the attention span the length of a TV commercial, so I’m going to sleep.

I can only assume that at some point in the next hour or so the moon will emerge from behind Earth’s shadow, and everything will go on as before.  If not, well… then this is probably one of the lamest last-posts-ever ever.

Oh, and in case you maybe thought I am some sort of an astronomy geek, (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)  I’ll leave you with two facts: 1) Everything I learned about lunar eclipses beyond the whole Sun-Earth-Moon in a line bit was learned over the last 45 minutes from Wikipedia.  Anyone who can tell me what an antumbra is without looking it up on Wikipedia will win a cookie.  2) As I hinted at in the opening line, I had totally ignored notices about the upcoming eclipse because I assumed that it wouldn’t be visible from where I was or it would be at an inconvenient time.  Wrong, and wrong.

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