Tuesday, 28 August 2007

(*) Lunar Eclipse Tonight

Apparently there is going to be a Lunar Eclipse tonight!!! This'll give me a chance to pull out and dust off the telescope! Yay!

Stargazers are in for a treat tonight when the sun, the earth and the moon line up, creating the second total lunar eclipse for 2007.

The earth's shadow will start crossing the moon at 6:00pm AEST and will completely cover the moon at around 8:40pm AEST.

A total lunar eclipse will occur Tuesday, and -- weather permitting -- will be visible in the Philippines, the United States, the Pacific, eastern Asia and Australasia, according to the weather bureau.

Jane Morgan from Charleville's Cosmos Centre in outback Queensland says observers will see a spectacular reddish glow and will not need a telescope.

"A lunar eclipse is something that you can absolutely just enjoy with your naked eye," she said.

"Because you can see the shadow passing over, you can see the shadow changes of the moon.

During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon’s disk can take on various colors ranging from bright orange and blood red to dark brown and very dark gray, astronomers said.

A lunar eclipse can only take place at full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth’s shadow, according to astronomers.

If only part of the Moon passes through the umbra, this is considered a partial eclipse. But if the entire Moon would pass through the umbral shadow, then a total eclipse of the Moon would occur, they said.

The penumbra or outer shadow is a zone where the Earth blocks some, but not all, of the Sun’s rays. The umbra or inner shadow is a region where the Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the Moon, according to astronomers.

(Source 1 and 2 )

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