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Lunar Eclipse Tonight!


Ryan King
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Article - http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/03/02/lunar.eclipse.ap/index.html

 

LONDON, England (AP) -- A dark red shadow crept across the moon, leaving only a silver, crescent-shaped sliver as a total lunar eclipse began late Saturday.

 

Around the world, amateur stargazers and astronomers watched the first total lunar eclipse in three years. Partly visible on every continent, residents of Europe, Africa and the Middle East had the best view, weather permitting.

 

About a dozen people gathered at the Croydon Observatory, in southeast London, to watch the start of the phenomenon.

 

"It's starting to go!" said Alex Gikas, 8, a Cub Scout who was studying for his astronomy badge. "I've never seen anything like it before. I'm really excited."

 

The eclipse was clearly visible, thanks to clear, crisp weather in southern England.

 

Lunar eclipses occur when Earth passes between the sun and the moon, an uncommon event because the moon spends most of its time either above or below the plane of Earth's orbit.

 

Sunlight still reaches the moon during total eclipses, but it is refracted through Earth's atmosphere, bathing the moon in an eerie reddish light.

 

Despite cloudy conditions over much of Europe, a variety of Webcasts were carrying the event live, and astronomers urged the public not to miss the spectacle.

 

"It's not an event that has any scientific value, but it's something everybody can enjoy," said Robert Massey, of Britain's Royal Astronomical Society.

 

Earth's shadow began moving across the moon at 3:18 p.m. ET, with the total eclipse occurring at 5:44 p.m. and lasting more than an hour.

 

Residents of east Asia saw the eclipse cut short by moonset, while those in the eastern parts of North and South America found the moon already partially or totally eclipsed by the time it rose over the horizon in the evening.

 

While eastern Australia, Alaska and New Zealand missed Saturday's show, they will have front-row seats to the next total lunar eclipse, on August 28.

 

Also, when you go to the page on the left hand side..you can see a video on it.

 

Im going to attempt to see it tonight...hopefully we can get it here.

 

-Ryan

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