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Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

Posted February 15, 2008 9:42 AM

From Yahoo! News: Science News:

On Wednesday night, Feb. 20, for the third time in the past year, the moon will become completely immersed in the Earth's shadow, resulting in a total lunar eclipse. As is the case with all lunar eclipses, the region of visibility will encompass more than half of our planet. Nearly a billion people in the Western Hemisphere, more than 1.5 billion in Europe and Africa, and perhaps another half-billion in western Asia will be able to watch — weather permitting — as the brilliant mid-winter full moon becomes a shadow of its former self and morphs into a glowing coppery ball. Almost everyone in the Americas and Western Europe will have a beautiful view of this eclipse if bad weather doesn't spoil the show. The moon will be high in a dark evening sky as viewed from most of the United States and Canada while most people are still awake and about.

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#1

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/15/2008 9:14 PM

Looks as if we "down under" miss this one.

We have an interesting selection of sizes/distances, with sun/moon/earth giving a variety of both solar and lunar eclipses on Earth.

Kind Regards....

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#2

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/16/2008 5:15 AM

It could be you MEAN the morning of Feb 21st but it has to be made clear that officially, according to NASA websites, the eclipse is happening in the early hours of the 21st.

Check here for details and let's all hope , or if you are that way inclined pray, for clear skies that time.

Happy viewing

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/16/2008 5:21 AM

I forgot to mention that NASA uses GMT or UT. It is therefor true that North America has the eclipse on the evening of the 20th. Bloody clocks, why can't we all live in the same time zone?

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#4

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/20/2008 1:57 PM

You all got your scopes out? It is ok here now but bad weather predicted for later so I am hoping like I have never before.


afocal with 40mm eyepiece on my f13.8 meade. Camera is fujifilm finepix A800 no zoom.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/20/2008 4:59 PM

Watch out for the man, in the moon

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#6

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/20/2008 5:05 PM

If you can't watch the REAL eclipse tonight, watch this instead:

http://shadowandsubstance.com/

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/21/2008 2:03 AM

Hello AstroNut

Thanks for that informative link, along with all those fancy pictures and diagrams.

I've given you a Good Post Mark.

Kind Regards....

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#7

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/20/2008 11:05 PM

It is cold and cloudy. Got some pictures before the eclipse started but very few from the event itself. All of them are through a layer of cloud ranging from veil to thick obscuring. No colour to see so I cheated with a link to the Argentine friends of Astronomy.

http://www.aaaa.org.ar/eclipse/eclipse_eng.html

My own feeble results show just about how frustrated you can get in the middle of the night.

All of them afocal so the lack of light coming through the clouds made focussing a bit interesting.

Sorry but experiment failed and not even any reasonable pictures to show for my frozen bolocks.

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#9
In reply to #7

SPECIAL AWARD FOR DEDICATION TO SKYWATCHING

02/21/2008 2:16 AM

Hello case491

Thank you for your fine efforts, which show your dedication to the noble purpose of skywatching.

The Awards Committee hereby have much pleasure in presenting you with this specially selected blended scotch whisky, from a selection of distilleries.

Trust you warrrm up as you sip the golden nectar, and the sign was added, because you're a special sort of person.

And a Good Post Mark as well, because you earned one.

Kind Regards....

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: SPECIAL AWARD FOR DEDICATION TO SKYWATCHING

02/21/2008 6:33 AM

That warms my heart even before the price arrived. Thanks.

As it was a bit crap last night, I also downloaded the live images from an Argentinian telescope which I will finalise in a composite photo later but here is a taster done in the middle of the night.


My eyes probably look like the seventh from the left

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#12
In reply to #7

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/21/2008 10:41 AM

Excellent work, case491!

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#11

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/21/2008 10:40 AM

Chicago's skies were completely clear! Bitter sub-zero temps, though. I watched intermittently, hopping out onto the deck for two minutes at a time was all I could bear!

The color seemed unusually golden. The lunars I've seen before were coppery, blood-red, or deep brown. This one was a buff color, not much red at all! I would appreciate hearing others' views on the color.

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#13

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/21/2008 10:53 AM

Here it is, the final compilation of my stolen pictures from Argentinia. Unfortunately they do not tell us what kind of telescope they used for these pictures but the detail is quite good so I reckon it must have been a reasonable sized one.

I suppose this concludes this thread somewhat so see you next time we have a reason to voluntarily catch frostbite.

I must state explicitely that the above picture is NOT my result ok! I only chose the best once for a sequence to include first contact, start of totality, maximum, end of totality and exit of penumbral phase.

Please note that all credit goes to the Amigos A la Astronomia de Argentinia (or something like that), well done guys.

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#14

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/21/2008 11:26 AM

Just got a report from a friend, a commercial pilot who was flying Denver to Minneapolis and had a fantastic view. He says: "The bad part was that the passengers didn't have as good a view as we had, almost head-on. I made a point to tell the passengers when they were positioned to see it, though. Some airplanes even did 360's so everyone could see. The controllers obliged, even though they were stuck in windowless buildings. At about the halfway point, another jet flew underneath us, and it was gorgeous with their contrail in the moonlight and the partially eclipsed moon both in view."

I'm in the wrong job!

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/21/2008 11:55 AM

What was the direction of your moon in the USA?

Denver is south west of Minneapolis so theoretically the passengers sitting on the right side of the plane should have been able to see it almost all the way. These planes never fly in a straight line though so who knows where they lead them sometimes. Cool though to be able to see it from above the clouds. Less atmosphere above you is better views.

In the Meade catalogue is stories from people who use their telescopes and their background. One was from a test pilot who had to fly enormous amounts in the night which they called "drilling holes in the sky". It was on those nights this guy got his interests in skywatching and now he is one of those amateurs that have discoveries on his name. I would love to get to that stage but money will stop me way before that.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Viewer's Guide: Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

02/21/2008 12:22 PM

My pilot friend has been an avid amateur astronomer since his teens. Flying is an excellent way to see the sky! He notes that the altitude can be a problem: "We're usually at a cabin altitude of 6-8000 feet, which dims things, but breathing O2 for a few seconds undoes that."

Pilots and frequent flyers also get to see the "glory" - the ring-shaped rainbow in a cloud around the plane's shadow. I've only seen that once.

What I REALLY want to see someday is an auroral display while in flight! My pilot friend describes it this way: "we were north of the magnetic North Pole and the auroras were astounding. We were surrounded by them in all directions, they were red, yellow and green, and changing constantly. It was like something out of Star Trek, except without the cool sound effects."

I am SO envious!!

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