Last night was the last total lunar eclipse for two years and it was quite good. Pittsburgh weather cleared long enough for me to snap a couple shots of the unobstructed moon with Regulus (the brightest star in the constellation Leo) bright above it and Saturn even brighter to the bottom left. There was still a light haze that I think made it difficult for me to get the focus right. I was able to capture the rich, red color while the moon was still exposing a sliver of sun-drenched rock. Then the clouds came in earnest and I was getting tired, so I went to bed, missing the full umbra. But at least I got to see some of it this time. Last time there was a lunar eclipse, I was completely out of luck.
Posts Tagged ‘lunar eclipse’
Tags: astronomy, clouds, lunar eclipse, moon, pittsburgh, regulus, saturn
Tags: astronomy, lamentations, lunar eclipse, meteor showers, moon
Much to my sorrow, it looks like seeing the total lunar eclipse that is to happen early tomorrow morning is not in the cards. The eclipse will begin just after 4:51am. At that point, the moon will be 18 degrees above the western horizon, which means I’ll have a hard time getting to a place in Pittsburgh where I can view it free of buildings, mountains (hills), or trees. By 5:30am, when half of the moon is consumed by the partial eclipse, it will be a mere 12 degrees above the horizon. By the time the total eclipse starts, it will be about 6 degrees above the horizon and dawn will already be brightening the sky. If I lived in Los Angeles, the moon would be a whopping 36 degrees above the horizon when the total eclipse began.
At least I still have the Aurigids to look forward to this Saturday. We’re going to Donna’s mom’s house, in semi-rural eastern Pennsylvania. The viewing won’t be as good as my uncle’s location in Ohio, but it will certainly suffice. The Aurigids are a meteor shower caused by the passage of comet Kiess in 4 AD and later in 1911 AD. A trail of debris circles the sun in its path and the Earth occasionally passes into this trail. The great news is, it appears that this year we are poised to go straight into the heart of this debris field. The bad news is, it will again be mainly viewable on the west coast. The shower will peak around 4:30 in the morning in the west. The last Aurigid shower had mostly bright meteors that came in vivid colors. The next Aurigid shower won’t be in my lifetime.
There will be a team from the University of North Dakota travelling to Las Vegas to provide a live webcam feed of the lunar eclipse.
National Geographic has a nice graphic showing how much of the eclipse will be visible where.