Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lunar Eclipse To Start Early Tuesday Morning

The shadow of the earth is expected to pass between the sun and the moon beginning about 12:29 a.m. Tuesday, and will fully eclipse the moon in about 72 minutes. The entire eclipse should be completed by 4 a.m. for those watching in Michigan.
“What you’ll slowly start to see is a bite being taken out of the moon,” said Michael Narlock, the chief astronomer at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills. “It will be a shadow, usually reddish, creeping across the face of the moon until it is completely red. How red depends on the particles in the atmosphere.”

Lunar eclipses happen on average twice a year, and only when the moon is full. While there was a partial eclipse in June, the last full lunar eclipse was in February of 2008, and Michigan likely won’t see another of this magnitude until April 14, 2014.
An estimated 1.5 billion people should be able to see the full eclipse in North America and South America, and parts of Europe and Asia.
“The nice thing about eclipses is you don’t need special equipment, like binoculars or a telescope to enjoy them,” Narlock said. He suggested those hoping to film the eclipse use a tripod and then take very short exposed photographs, since the eclipse moves so slow. And unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses do not require protective eyewear.
“They can be very, very interesting. I like to imagine myself two thousand years ago, and seeing this happen, and had I not understood, what I would have wondered,” Narlock said.
Eerie eclipses have long intrigued, inspired and terrified human beings. The Vikings were convinced that a celestial wolf was consuming the moon, and made great noise, banging drums and weapons to scare the wolf away in time to let the moon re-emerge.
And historians note that Christopher Columbus, on his fourth voyage to the New World, and desperate and stranded in Jamaica, consulted his navigational tables and realized an eclipse was due Feb. 29, 1504. The Jamaican people had grown weary of feeding and caring for the Europeans and had stopped giving them food. Columbus warned that God was angry over their stinginess and would take away their moon. As the eclipse began, the panicked Jamaicans brought food to the hungry men.
Narlock, who has seen dozens of eclipses, plans to skip this one and stay in bed.
“I’ve seen a lot of these, and while they’re interesting and fun to watch, they occur generally on average two or more a year. I sort of treat this like the Detroit Lions, they’re always there next year.”

Lunar Eclipse 2010 and Winter Solstice Shine in the Sky This December 21

Never miss this chance now! Isn’t that exciting that the first ever total lunar eclipse in two years will just happen during the shortest day of the year? And yes, it will happen, because a total lunar eclipse will be visible throughout the North and Central America from 8:40 pm EST, Monday, December 20, 2010 until 9:53 am Tuesday, December 21, 2010. The said celestial event is very first in almost three years.

For everybody’s information, the Winter solstice is Northern Hemisphere’s shortest day of the year, and the first day of the winter season. This is where sun will be visible in the lowest part of our sky because the North Pole of the earth will be pointing away from it.
Apparently, the Total lunar eclipse means the shadow of the earth (or also called Umbra) will fully cover the surface of the moon, making it partially, to almost invisible. During the “peak” of the eclipse, the earth’s umbra shadow will give the moon a red-brown like effect (moon looks like a cheese).  On Monday, the total lunar eclipse will take place at the same time as the winter solstice.The winter solstice played an important role in the Greco-Roman rituals.
On latest updates, the NASA uses Twitter to announce some of the activities scheduled in related to the total lunar eclipse. The government institution tweets:
“Did you know there is a lunar eclipse on Monday night? NASA has online activities and chats you can join us for,” and links to an article about the eclipse and information about events like live chat and photo sharing via Flickr.
“It’s seen as a time of rebirth or renewal because, astrologically, it’s a time where the light comes back,” Shane Hawkins, a professor of Greek and Roman studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, told the Montreal Gazette.
Moreso, Europe will be able to catch a glimpse of the beginning of the lunar eclipse, but Japan will be catching the ending.
This lunar eclipse is part of the Saros cycle, which is an eclipse cycle with a period of 18 years and a little over 11 days.  This cycle is useful for predicting the times of when nearly identical eclipses will occur.

Total Lunar Eclipse

There is a lot of action going on in the skies right now. Monday night or Tuesday morning we are going to have a real treat. If you are in North America you are going to be able to see this event especially well. I am talking about the lunar eclipse 2010.

Depending on where you are the lunar eclipse 2010 is going to either happen on Monday night or early Tuesday morning. With clear skies, people of Central America, North America as well as a region of South America are going to be able to get a great view. This is going to be a special event since it is going to be the year’s only total eclipse of the moon. Make sure to set your clocks for the lunar eclipse 2010.
If you are on the West Cost make sure you are getting outside for a peek at 11:41pm. If you are on the East Coast you should be on the look out at 2:41 am. If you are not out to look right away that won’t be a problem since it is supposed to last about 3 1/2 hours. The lunar eclipse 2010 is a great way to end the year.