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Space Science

Total Lunar Eclipse This Weekend 133

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the umbra-and-penumbra dept.
SeaDour writes "This Saturday night, March 3rd, a total lunar eclipse will be visible from nearly all inhabited parts of the world. A great shadow will stretch across the surface of the moon, eventually casting it in an eerie red glow as sunlight filters through our atmosphere onto the lunar surface. Viewers in Europe and Africa will have the best vantage point, able to watch the entire eclipse in action, while observers in most of the western hemisphere can see it eclipsed as it rises just after sunset."
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Total Lunar Eclipse This Weekend

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  • I for one.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by bumby (589283)
    I for one will have my camera ready, hoping to snatch some nice pictures.
  • Omen (Score:5, Informative)

    by sporkme (983186) * on Saturday March 03, 2007 @11:14AM (#18217642) Homepage
    The eclipse [nasa.gov] starts at 3:18 p.m. EST Saturday, with the total eclipse occurring at 5:44 p.m. EST. Look east at sunset. I'll be out there for sure.

    The next total lunar eclipse [nasa.gov] occurs on August 28.
  • I really hope if there is no law now there will be in the future that bans beaming advertisements off stellar bodies. Last thing I want to see through my telescope is 1) goatse and 2) some advert.
    • you don't need a telescope [snopes.com]...
    • Shhh! Don't give them any ideas!
    • by ettlz (639203)

      Last thing I want to see through my telescope is 1) goatse and 2) some advert.
      3) The bald head of Britney Spears.
      • Last thing I want to see through my telescope is 1) goatse and 2) some advert.

        3) The bald head of Britney Spears.


        4) Uranus

    • Plot element in The Man Who Sold the Moon [wikipedia.org], Robert A. Heinlein, 1951

      He bluffs that he has been offered a large sum to turn the Moon into a massive billboard using a rocket which scatters black dust on the surface in patterns. To the owner of the "Moka-Cola" company he implies that the culprit is the rival soft drink maker "6+". To a fervent anti-Communist, he suggests that the Russians may be capable of printing the hammer and sickle across the face of the Moon if they get a lead in rocket technology.

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Last thing I want to see through my telescope is 1) goatse and 2) some advert.

      Then make sure not to point it at Uranus.
  • Panic?! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by oldwindways (934421)
    I am curious to see how parts of the third world reacts to an "eerie red" moon rise. Eclipses have prompted some pretty interesting responses in the past.
    • Yeah, Homeland security thread-o-meter is now set to "Lunar white"
    • Re:Panic?! (Score:5, Funny)

      by orasio (188021) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @11:51AM (#18217904) Homepage
      Yes, we in the third world, as the uneducated subhumans that we are, will look at the big tit in the ceiling, as we like to call it, turn red and dissapear, and believe that the world has come to an end, running around with our arms up in the sky.

      • Re:Panic?! (Score:4, Funny)

        by ultranova (717540) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @12:12PM (#18218026)

        Yes, we in the third world, as the uneducated subhumans that we are

        A "glass is half empty" type, I see. Try positive thinking: start referring to yourselfs as supermonkeys !-)

        will look at the big tit in the ceiling, as we like to call it, turn red and dissapear, and believe that the world has come to an end, running around with our arms up in the sky.

        All I see here in Finland are clouds :(.

        And the Moon doesn't disappear during a lunar eclipse, it is perfectly visible, just dimmer and redder than usual. Maybe you supermonkeys have bad eyesight as well ?

    • i'm sure they are getting used to the first and second word blocking the sun
    • by joako (724668)
      If by "in the past", you mean 1,000 years ago, then yes, eclipses have prompted some interesting responses in the past. Today, however, even those dirty, dirty savages in the third world have access to science and communication technologies. Imagine that!
    • Re:Panic?! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by maggard (5579) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Saturday March 03, 2007 @12:49PM (#18218278) Homepage Journal

      How will 3rd world inhabitants react to this lunar eclipse?

      Presumably with complete calm and mild interest, just like their condescending 1st world neighbors.

      It's not like lunar eclipses aren't particularly rare, about two happen a year. A full eclipse is less frequent but still happens often enough to have been already experienced by most adults.

      Indeed folks in poorer areas are usually less impressed by celestial phenomena because they are well familiar with such. Lighting costs money and so isn't as wasted as it is in many 1st world places, leaving the skies that much darker and their contents that much more visible.

      Want to see someone freak out over the contents of a night sky? Take a young person from any large first world city far out into the countryside on a clear evening, let their eyes dark adjust, and then show them the night sky. That prompts "some pretty interesting responses".

      • by enigma9 (812497)
        Actually, the small village where I was living in Guatemala was very scared by a solar eclipse. People wouldn't come out of their houses all day, and blamed a death on the eclipse (the sun burned his brain). They were superstitious, not stupid. As such, I would be interested in what superstitions other areas of the world had.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by MPHellwig (847067)
          I believe that the moon will cry out loud: "Get out of my way you big fat stupip blue planet, you're blocking my view!", of course some of my personalities disagree but there not allowed to speak out loud since they grilled the neighbours dog.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The third world? When I think about countries run by crazy superstitious people, the US is the first place that comes to mind:

      As the moon turns red...
      "Quick, everyone pray, the rapture is starting!"
      "But NASA said it's just..."
      "Yeah, NASA also said your grandparents were monkeys. Now get praying, cos God's coming back!"
    • Re:Panic?! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ChuckleBug (5201) * on Saturday March 03, 2007 @04:33PM (#18220148) Journal
      Dear Third World:

      Please accept my apology on behalf of the vast majority of the rest of us in the "first world," lacking a better term. The parent's comment made me cringe so hard I almost imploded. I'm not sure if that cretin is from the US, but in case he/she is, as a sentient American, I doubly apologize.

      I really wish assholes like the OP would quit talking about the rest of the world in such condescending terms. I'm sick of being made to look bad by association with fools like that. Believe it or not, OP, otherly-skinned or located people are not ignorant savages. Now if we could just get rid of the ignorant savages among us in the first world.

      God, how embarrassing.

    • by Ralconte (599174)
      Look up 'Third World' on wikipedia, or perhaps a better source if you've got it. It's an archaic term from the cold-war days. US&Europe=1st World, Soviet Bloc=2nd World, 3rd World=poor people 1st & 2nd World manipulated with cash to further their own ends. It never had anything to do with tech savvyness, just cash/infrastructure.
    • Never mind the 3rd World. Al Gore will point to the (red) moon and say "See, global warming is causing the moon to heat up!"
  • How appropraite since I am having a Space 1999 weekend here after I downloaded all episodes :)
    • by ettlz (639203)
      Yay! Space: 1999 — lunar retards and space-hippies! I love the bit at the opening where Landau looks to his right, and then Babs Bain swivels around towards the camera like a bloody statue on some rotating platform. And let's not forget Blonde Australian Bloke and Moustache Man, who seem to think you can solve everything by shouting!
  • It took me a few moments to work out what the Western Hemisphere [wikipedia.org] was. In this context I'm guessing it means "America".
  • I have already looked at this from the moon, using the truly quite excellent Celestia.
    Eclipse shown from the moon (225Kb) [ukfsn.org]
  • clouds (Score:4, Funny)

    by Njovich (553857) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @11:27AM (#18217728)
    Viewers in Europe and Africa will have the best vantage point, able to watch the entire eclipse in action

    Except in the regions around England and the low countries, of course, where it is always clouded.
    • Invade Scotland then. Rule Britania!
    • by radio4fan (304271)
      From meto.gov [metoffice.gov.uk]:

      This Evening and Tonight:
      Scattered showers soon dying out then dry and largely clear [...]

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hcdejong (561314)
      To quote Asterix,
      Q: "does it rain here often?"
      A: "Only when there's no fog"

      Over here (.nl) there's some cloud cover ATM, but I'd say it's less than 50%. The national met office reports a good chance at clear skies tonight.
    • The sky is actually completely clear at the moment (23:04 GMT, about 10 mins into totality, and in the western suburbs of Oxford), and I have a brilliant view of the moon.

      It would be even more be brilliant if I wasn't surrounded by seven sodium-discharge street lamps!
  • by Eudial (590661)
    It's gonna be cloudy tonight you insensitive clod!
  • Does anyone know where I could find some pictures of the moon passing in front of Saturn on Thursday night? I could see it but had no telescope.
  • by TheScreenIsnt (939701) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @12:18PM (#18218078)
    "Total Lunar Eclipse This Weekend a Hoax."
    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @01:09PM (#18218454) Homepage Journal

      That reminds me: Remember folks, a Solar Eclipse is when the Moon gets between the Earth and the Sun. Conversely, a Lunar Eclipse, which is what's happening tonight, is when the Sun gets between the Earth and the Moon.

      Just letting you all know.

      What's really upsetting is that I, and my party of missionaries, are due to be sacrificed by a cannibalistic tribe at noon today, and we were really hoping for a Solar eclipse as a result.

      • GIven that the radius of the sun is larger than the distance to the moon, I really really hope you got the lunar eclipse definition wrong. Crack out the factor 5000.
      • by ashitaka (27544)
        Someone's been reading Tintin.

        I would assume the solar eclipse would save you as you command the gods to block out the sun.
      • by eobanb (823187)
        is when the Sun gets between the Earth and the Moon

        I don't know if you were trying to be funny here, but there is simply no way the Sun would fit between the Earth and Moon. A Lunar eclipse is, in fact, when the Earth gets between the Sun and the Moon.
      • by Chris Burke (6130)
        What's really upsetting is that I, and my party of missionaries, are due to be sacrificed by a cannibalistic tribe at noon today, and we were really hoping for a Solar eclipse as a result.

        It's pretty cool that the cannibalistic tribe's prison has internet terminals. You have to give them credit for that at least.
        • by Chris Burke (6130)
          Follow up question: Do they run linux?
          • This is a primitive tribe without access to modern technologies, they run... oh forget it. Write your own punchline. I can think of dozens that'll thoroughly annoy someone. Y'know "Windows XP Service Pack 1!!!1!", "Debian Stable", "NetBSD", etc. Heh.

      • What's really upsetting is that I, and my party of missionaries, are due to be sacrificed by a cannibalistic tribe at noon today, and we were really hoping for a Solar eclipse as a result.
        Let me guess. They gave you a choice of Boonga-Boonga or death. You chose death, and it turned out to be death by Boonga-Boonga.
  • Eric Idle (Score:5, Funny)

    by pipingguy (566974) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @12:19PM (#18218086) Homepage
    Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
    And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
    That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
    A sun that is the source of all our power.
    The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
    Are moving at a million miles a day
    In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
    Of the galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'.

    Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
    It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
    It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
    But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
    We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
    We go 'round every two hundred million years,
    And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
    In this amazing and expanding universe.

    The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
    In all of the directions it can whizz
    As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
    Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
    So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
    How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
    And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
    'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.
    • by iangoldby (552781)
      Pedants' Notes:

      And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour

      1. Rotation of Earth 465 m/s at equator

      That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,

      2. Orbital velocity of Earth round Sun 29.8 km/s.

      The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
      Are moving at a million miles a day

      3. Motion of Solar neigbourhood around the Galaxy 200 km/s. (Mistake here? This is more like ten million miles a day or four hundred thousand miles an hour.)

      Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.

      4

      • by pipingguy (566974)
        You missed:

        Why are we here? What's life all about? Is God really real, or is there some doubt? Well, tonight, we're going to sort it all out, For, tonight, it's 'The Meaning of Life'.

        What's the point of all this hoax? Is it the chicken and the egg time? Are we just yolks? Or, perhaps, we're just one of God's little jokes. Well, ça c'est le 'Meaning of Life'.

        Is life just a game where we make up the rules While we're searching for something to say, Or are we just simply spiralling coils Of self-
  • by KokorHekkus (986906) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @12:41PM (#18218226)
    I had the opportunity to see one while being far from any light polluting city (or even close to any populated area at all). This was during a night orienteering excercise with the finnish army and we're running around in the middle of the night in some godforsaken forest trying to find the checkpoints. It was a very clear night but after a while it starts to get darker and I look up and the eclipse had started (but no one of use knew about it beforehand). Then at the full eclipse it got really pitch dark... you actually couldn't see your hand infront of you.

    And I looked up... it was very beautiful. With clear country air, no light pollution and no moonlight my eyes was able to see the stars in the Milkyway and around that you never see otherwise... the sky was really full of them and gave me a whole other sense of scale about our place in the galaxy. That might be the closest thing to go to space one can experience while still staying earthbound. I can imagine standing on the back of the moon watching out would create the same sensation.

    So if the weather is clear... don't stay in or near a city if you can get away. It will be worth the trip.
    • by dasimms (644188)
      Your story is awesome! Remember that you can see all those stars (and other things) shining out any clear night when the moon is within a week or two of new from a non-light polluted area.
      • I know but this was much more than that. If I remember correctly then this was in october (many years ago) and my conscription lasted until february. This was far enough north that we had less than 8 hours of daylight during midwinter so there was a lot of dark times around. I spent more than 1/3 of the time doing 24/7 field excercises since we were the radio guys and were on loan to other companies that needed us. So being able to observe the nightsky I could do often. And I didn't see anything like it the
    • by aldheorte (162967)
      "That might be the closest thing to go to space one can experience while still staying earthbound. I can imagine standing on the back of the moon watching out would create the same sensation. "

      If you meant at the time of the lunar eclipse, sure. But if you meant the other side of the moon from Earth (the so-called "dark side") in general, you would as often as not see the sun because the "dark side" of the moon is actually only completely dark at full moon. At new moon, looking straight out from the back of
  • File this under "What I never knew I never knew"

    The Giant divine snake Ketu will start devouring the Moon. Don't eat or cook anything between 2 pm and 8pm CST. Discard all food prepared before the curse of Ketu (cool picture of the very Ketu himself!) [wikipedia.org]. Must take a purifying bath/shower after Ketu disgorges the Moon. Ideally you should write the prayers ( sold here [rudraksha-ratna.com]) to Ketu in a dried palm leaf and tie it around your forehead during the bath. Paper is an acceptable substitute. People who have lost their

  • no-one's yet said...

    that's no moon...

  • One thought for a Moon base is to place it at one of the poles. Then solar power can be available all the time so that there is less need for backup power. So, one can figure a limit on a polar base capablility from the duration of alunar eclipse. At a minimum, it has to have backup power to maintain safety to last the duration of an eclipse. If food is grown, it has to be thermally protected or else harvested on the eclipse schedule. Inflated structures have to have sufficient (linked) heat capacity
  • Long time ago there was bad blood between a class of gods (note the lack of capitalization) called Devas and a nation of demons called Asuras. They needed to churn the ocean of milk to get the elixir of immortality. So peace treaty was signed between them because it was too big a task for any one nation/race/people to do. So with Lord Vishnu himself forming the pivot in the form of a Giant Tortoise, and the axis of the universe, also known as the Mount Meru as the churner and the giant divine snake Vasuki a
  • Inhabited!? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Myopic (18616) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @01:32PM (#18218636)
    What does that even mean, "visible from all inhabited places on earth"? First of all, I live in Juneau, Alaska, a place which is very much so inhabited (okay, not *very* much so, but certainly inhabited), but isn't going to see the eclipse [skytonight.com]. Moreover, the west coast of the United States, inhabited by more than thirty million people, won't see it either.

    Alaska represent! I'll be yawning during this eclipse. Someone email me a picture.
    • by arodland (127775)
      30 million is what portion of 7 billion, again? Less than half a percent? :)
    • by petenz (946161)
      Here in New Zealand, there wasn't much mention of the eclipse (hence my not knowing about it until seeing a /. article about it the morning after it was happening) - congratulations to those who can see it (and are possibly currently enjoying it?). The reason why is beautifully summed up by the map of who 'isn't going to see the eclipse'. How could we Kiwis see it if our wee islands aren't even on the map!
  • As I look out of my window in Thurrock (15 Miles east of London), there are not to many clouds in the sky. However, you can rest assured that as soon as they hear about the Lunar eclipse they will be out in force.
  • by loconet (415875)
    Once again Toronto is overcast! I don't remember the last time we had an event like this where we've had clear skies. Damn weather
  • The show will be effectively over by moonrise here on the Wet Coast. The weather forecast is totally dismal anyway.

    Of the last three lunar eclipses visible in these parts, we were clouded out on 16 May 2003, but had fine shows on 28 October 2003 and 9 November 2004. I also saw the eclipse on 21 January 2000 from Toronto, while I was at school. Next for us: 28 August 2007.

    I saw my first total solar eclipse [nasa.gov] last year from Turkey. Even though I knew exactly what was going on, it still gave me the creeps,

  • Not Available in New Zealand!

    Dag-Nabbit! Who organised this stupid eclipse?
  • Navy: Moonrise Calculator:

    http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/LunarEclipse.htm l [navy.mil]

    Red Moonrise. Ain't it cool?
  • Almost Forgot ...
    Several of these folks talk about the Moon we never knew.

    "There is no dark side of the moon really--matter of fact, it's all dark"
    Pink Floyd | Black Ops Motto

    For your consideration ... ;-)

    DL: (222.5 MBs)

    http://disclosure.netro.ca/npcc.wmv [netro.ca]

    Streaming:

    http://69.56.146.50/netrostream113/npcc.wmv [69.56.146.50]

    Site:

    http://www.netro.ca/disclosure/npccmenu.htm [netro.ca]

    Watch the whole thing.
  • ...is probably from the moon. Anyone ever got their flying car? We could maybe take it to the orbiting station and catch a shuttle....no, wait...all that was hype.

    Nevermind. :(
  • The whole family was interested, but couldn't understand my sitting out on our front garden wall gazing into space.
  • ...there will be a full moon by Uranus.
  • But it's overcast, you insensitive clod!

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