1. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    Get ready for the eclipse

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Raven, Feb 18, 2008.

    The Moon will turn an eerie shade of red for people in the western hemisphere late Wednesday and early Thursday, recreating the eclipse that saved Christopher Columbus more than five centuries ago.

    In a lunar eclipse, the Sun, Earth and Moon are directly aligned and the Moon swings into the cone of shadow cast by the Earth.

    But the Moon does not become invisible, as there is still residual light that is deflected towards it by our atmosphere. Most of this refracted light is in the red part of the spectrum and as a result the Moon, seen from Earth, turns a coppery, orange or even brownish hue.

    Lunar eclipses have long been associated with superstitions and signs of ill omen, especially in battle.

    The defeat of the Persian king Darius III by Alexander the Great in the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC was foretold by soothsayers when the Moon turned blood-red a few days earlier.

    And an eclipse is credited with saving the life of Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1504.

    Stranded on the coast of Jamaica, the explorers were running out of food and faced with increasingly hostile local inhabitants who were refusing to provide them with any more supplies.

    Columbus, looking at an astronomical almanac compiled by a German mathematician, realised that a total eclipse of the Moon would occur on February 29, 1504.

    He called the native leaders and warned them if they did not cooperate, he would make the Moon disappear from the sky the following night.

    The warning, of course, came true, prompting the terrified people to beg Columbus to restore the Moon -- which he did, in return for as much food as his men needed. He and the crew were rescued on June 29, 1504.

    The Moon will be in total eclipse from 0301 GMT to 0351 GMT. This will be visible east of the Rocky Mountains in North America, as well as in all of Central and South America, West Africa and Western Europe. The zenith of totality is close to French Guiana.

    It will be in partial eclipse from 0143 GMT to 0301 GMT, visible west of the Rockies and from the eastern Pacific, and from 0351 GMT to 0509 GMT, visible across the rest of Africa and Europe and much of South and West Asia.

    Under a partial eclipse, Earth's shadow, or umbra, appears to take a "bite" out of the Moon.

    The last total lunar eclipse took place on August 28 2007. The next will take place on December 21 2010.

    A solar eclipse happens when the Moon swings between the Earth and the Sun.
     
  2. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Oooh. i didn't know about this. Thx for the heads up Raven. Wensday and thursday you say? I'm totally going to check that out.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Woot :D Something cool to look out for.
     
  4. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    Try this as well Linky
    Linky 2
    Linky 3
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A lunar eclipse can be viewed from anywhere on earth that the moon is above the horizon at the time of the eclipse, so roughly half the planet (weather permitting, of course).

    A solar eclipse, on the other hand, can only be seen within the track that the moon's shadow traces across the Earth's landscape, and at best only a small area within that shadow track will see a total eclipse. In the worst case, the solar eclipse's zone of totality may not even reach the Earth's surface.
     
  6. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    Yup.
     
  7. Jet Jaguar
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    Jet Jaguar Member

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    An eclipse you say? It must be...the Varcolac!
     
  8. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Sounds cool. Would someone in Arizona be able to see it at the said times?
     
  9. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for letting me know Raven,, I like the moon, seeing an eclipse would be cool. There was actually one only a few months ago aswell I think 'cos I stood out back freezing my ass of then aswell :p
     
  10. Cogito
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    It will take place from 8:01 to 8:51 PM Phoenix time on Wednesday night, so I would say yes, you should have a decent view of it.
     
  11. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Thanks a bunch! I'll be sure not to miss it.
     
  12. CharlieTheUnicorn13
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    CharlieTheUnicorn13 Member

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    Aw, this stinks! We're expecting rain, so we won't get to see it.
     
  13. Montag
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    Montag Senior Member

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    Neat, although australia wont get to see it. I remember the last solar eclipse I saw, and that was pretty cool, walking home from school in twilight. The last lunar eclipse I saw was ages ago, we were in the middle of the desert, minus 2 degrees, about 10 years old, and perfectly clear sky with no light pollution. Pretty surreal.
     
  14. Cogito
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    There's a chunk missing from one edge of the moon, but the clouds are starting to come in too. My son lives an hour northeast of me, and he still has crystal clear skies.

    I've seen a few lunar eclipses, so I'm not too broken up about it, but I'm glad he'll have good viewing weather.
     
  15. LinRobinson
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    LinRobinson Banned

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    COOL! I'm sitting here on the internet and read this, then step outside and yeah, wow, the moon's half bloody. How cool is that. Very post-modern, World-2. Of course better would be to actually WATCH the eclipse on the internet instead of looking out the window.
    There was a rainbow across the sky today, too...at about the same elevation the moon is right now. I love **** like this.
     
  16. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well that wasn't very interesting. Can someone please tell me in what ways a lunar eclipse is different from the moon's normal cyclings, like crescent, half, etc.?
     
  17. ValianceInEnd
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    Gah, the clouds and supossedly the Himilayas are making it so I can't see it. :(
     
  18. (Mark)
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    A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth comes in between the sun and the moon, thus blocking the suns rays from directly hitting the moon.

    It was overcast tonight, so I didn't get to see it. Oh well.
     
  19. LinRobinson
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    Then there is the Ultimate Eclipse when the sun passes between the earth and the moon. These are, fortunately, rare.
     

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