Friday, December 17, 2010

Rare total lunar eclipse visible
to North America next week

If any visitors here are interested in lunar photography, a rare lunar eclipse -- weather permitting -- will be visible to North America in the early morning hours Tuesday, Dec. 21. A lunar eclipse is when the Earth stands directly between the sun and moon, blocking the sun's rays from striking the moon. How rare are these? If you miss this one, North America won't see another until tax day, April 15, in 2014.

Below are links to a couple articles on the subject. They include exposure tips, in case anyone would like to hone up on their astrophotography, and the one from NYIP (New York Institute of Photography) also gives you a breakdown on the expected EST arrivals of the two penumbras (the partial start/end of the eclipse) and umbra (full eclipse). 

The quick of it: The partial eclipse (first penumbra) will begin about 1:33 a.m., the full eclipse (umbra) will begin 2:41 a.m., the middle of the full eclipse will be about 3:17 a.m., total eclipse ends about 3:53 a.m. and the last remnant of the final penumbra (partial) ends at 5:01 a.m. Again, these are Eastern Standard times.


Space Travel:

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