Moon Eating Contest

Tonight's total lunar eclipse, visible from Western Europe and Africa to the Rocky Mountains, will be the last one until 2010. The moon will enter the Earth's umbra at 8:43pm EST and will enter total eclipse at 10:01pm EST, where it will remain for 51 minutes, until 10:52pm EST. The moon with then leave the Earth's umbra at 12:09am EST on Thursday morning.

Total lunar eclipses last longer in totality than total solar eclipses because the Earth is larger than the moon, so its umbra is much larger than the moon's, and the moon, being small, takes longer to pass through it.

For those who care about such things, my astrolabe shows the eclipse. The sun and moon hands are in a straight line through the windows in the eclipse hand, which shows the locations on the ecliptic of the moon's ascending and descending nodes: the two times per calendar year where eclipses may occur.

I will take some lovely photos and post them, for the benefit of those enjoying overcast conditions.

Update: I was going to take digital pictures, but my digital camera sucks for it. So I am taking black and white film pictures with the biggest durn lens I have - a really slow 300mm zoom. I shall have to have them processed before I can post them.

Tom G Varik