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Moon Science

On December 10, the Last Lunar Eclipse Until 2014 76

Posted by timothy
from the lucky-west-coasters dept.
New submitter althanas has this entry, snipped from NASA's Science News, for next weekend's social calendar (if you're lucky enough to live in the viewing range): "The action begins around 4:45 am Pacific Standard Time [on December 10th] when the red shadow of Earth first falls across the lunar disk. By 6:05 am Pacific Time, the Moon will be fully engulfed in red light. This event — the last total lunar eclipse until 2014 — is visible from the Pacific side of North America, across the entire Pacific Ocean to Asia and Eastern Europe. For people in the western United States the eclipse is deepest just before local dawn. Not only will the Moon be beautifully red, it will also be inflated by the Moon illusion."
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On December 10, the Last Lunar Eclipse Until 2014

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  • So glad it falls on a Saturday. Will stay up for this.
    • Unfortunately I can't. I have a final to take on Saturday. I'm in a crappy visibility zone anyway.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      Yeah, the timing on this could hardly be better. I'm getting a new camera on Monday and it should allow me to get a really close look at things. I know I'll hate myself for getting up that early, but something like this is way too good to pass up.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @05:38PM (#38253048) Homepage Journal

    PST/CST/EST is great and all, but it's much easier for international users to just convert from GMT/UTC to their local time zone. Heck, I'm in CST and it's faster for me to simply know that CST is UTC -6:00 than it is to remember if PST is two or three hours ahead or behind me. Additionally it gets rid of the ambiguity of wether or not PST is currently on DST or not (let's not get in to that argument today...).

    • by Kangburra (911213) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @05:49PM (#38253114)

      To be fair TFA states Pacific Time, so it is NASA you need to be complaining to.

      • by houghi (78078)

        TFA might do that but TFS is supposed to be written by editors.
        Editing these things should be one of their tasks, but that is work and they rather copy and paste and be done with it.

        • by Ruie (30480)

          TFA might do that but TFS is supposed to be written by editors. Editing these things should be one of their tasks, but that is work and they rather copy and paste and be done with it.

          I am not familiar with TFA and TFS - how many hours from UTC is that ?

          • by Anonymous Coward

            TFA is +0, TFS is +48.

        • by LingNoi (1066278)

          TFS is never written by editors. The stories are submitted by users and the editors, (!) edit them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ignoring the comment below, it's in PST/CST/EST because it's an American website. They're not going to convert it to GMT (regardless of how easy it is) just to have Americans convert it back.

    • PST is different than PDT...
    • by tverbeek (457094)

      If you live in the US and can't remember the order of the four time zones that cover the contiguous 48, you're not trying. Heck, it sounds like you're trying not to.

      I'd almost be willing to cut you some slack if you lived in Pacific or Eastern and weren't sure about the time zones in between, because being ignorant about the middle of the country is a cherished part of east-/west-coast culture. But someone in Mountain or Central time should have figured it out in elementary school, or within a year of mov

      • I've never understood the logic of having one called "central" when there's an even number of them.

    • by xaxa (988988)

      Writing -0700 (or whatever) would be better than some acronym that's more-or-less meaningless to anyone outside North America. I think New York is usually 5 hours behind here, but has different DST begin/end times, and I can never remember if "PST" is another two, three or four hours further west.

      This page uses UTC: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2011.html#LE2011Dec10T [nasa.gov]

      Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 11:33:32 UT
      Partial Eclipse Begins: 12:45:42 UT
      Total Eclipse Begins: 14:06:16 UT
      Greatest Eclipse:

      • by xaxa (988988)

        Incidentally, HTML5 might (I'm not sure, the spec looks complicated and there's debate and what's happening) solve this, by allowing a date and time provided with a timezone to be converted into local time.

      • Or, if you want it in local time, http://whenistheeclipse.com/ [whenistheeclipse.com] (admittedly just presenting the same data with TZ conversion). If I get bored tonight, I'll add a drop-list with some cities so you don't have to type in your time zone...

    • by sjwt (161428)

      At lest the PFD linked in the article has UT as well as a visibly map,

      http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OHfigures/OH2011-Fig06.pdf [nasa.gov]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      More than half the area it's visible in is in PST. Why NOT use PST to let people know?

    • If you click on the map, it takes you here [shadowandsubstance.com], which has all the different time zones listed. It also has a bunch of neat animations to look at.
    • Heck, I'm in CST and it's faster for me to simply know that CST is UTC -6:00 than it is to remember if PST is two or three hours ahead or behind me.

      That's your handicap, not a universal condition - there is a difference. (I'm in PST, and know the offsets for all (CONUS) timezones by heart.)

      • Good for you, you know your CONUS time zones. Do you expect someone in India to remember all of the CONUS TZs, or would you like the New Zeland time for the eclipse?
        The point is that UTC is global, just like this website.

        • Good for you, you know your CONUS time zones. Do you expect someone in India to remember all of the CONUS TZs, or would you like the New Zeland time for the eclipse?

          When India or New Zealand starts paying NASA's bills (since they authored the article), then you'll have a point. Until then, piss off.

          The point is that UTC is global, just like this website.

          Someone with the reading comprehension of a eight year old would note that article quoted is by a US government agency for US residents. Hence, th

          • by xaxa (988988)

            Someone with the reading comprehension of a eight year old would note that article quoted is by a US government agency for US residents. Hence, the time is quoted in the relevant zones. So, until you graduate elementary school, piss off.

            So what?

            There was another eclipse earlier this year. This article [bbc.co.uk] is from the BBC, which is funded by British people. The time given was GMT, even though the UK was using BST (GMT+0100) during the summer. The equivalence is given: In the UK, observers were able to view the eclipse from 2100 BST (2000 GMT). It's usual for articles containing time-sensitive events in another country to give the timezone, at least for the first mention, e.g. "The explosion occurred at 1234 local time (1034 GMT, 1134 BST)."

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          You're not going to see the eclipse in India, so what difference does it make what they use? Most people who will be able to see it are in that time zone. Putting local events in UDT is just stupid. If it were ioonly visible in India, it would be best to use Indian time.

          • The point is:

            1. This is a global site, refering to an event that can be viewed (directly or indirectly through streaming) globally.

            2. If an event is relevant for more than 1 timezone, UTC IS THE STANDARD. Every one of our computers uses UTC offset, this shouldn't even be a debate.

            Sure, if your local paper lists a time, list local time. When you're talking about what time a flight departs, the departing airport time makes sense. Posting things on a website that is global suggests you should put it into a

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 03, 2011 @05:52PM (#38253160)

    You can use this nasa javascript calculator to see when you will be able to see the eclipse (or any other one). The interface is clunky and 1997ish but hey.. that's your government at work!

    http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/JLEX/JLEX-NA.html

    • by hldn (1085833)

      beh, partial eclipse starts visible, but goes quickly goes past the horizon here :(

    • What's an astonoy geek?
    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @08:12PM (#38254002) Homepage Journal

      The interface is clunky and 1997ish but hey.. that's your government at work!

      By "clunky and 1997ish," you apparently mean "loads quickly, works the same on any browser, and gives you useful information without a bunch of extraneous crap." Man, I miss 1997.

      • The interface is clunky and 1997ish but hey.. that's your government at work!

        By "clunky and 1997ish," you apparently mean "loads quickly, works the same on any browser, and gives you useful information without a bunch of extraneous crap." Man, I miss 1997.

        You equate "works the same on any browser" with 1997? Wow, were you browsing only designed-for-Netscapse sites or only designed-for-IE sites at the time?

        • Fair enough; 1997 was probably the height of the browser wars, and there was a lot of "this site best viewed in ..." crap floating around. But I do remember a lot of "fill out the form, get the data" sites, like the one OP referenced, that looked just fine in both Netscape and IE -- and which loaded faster over a 28.8 modem than many of their "modern" counterparts do over DSL.

          • Fair enough; 1997 was probably the height of the browser wars, and there was a lot of "this site best viewed in ..." crap floating around. But I do remember a lot of "fill out the form, get the data" sites, like the one OP referenced, that looked just fine in both Netscape and IE -- and which loaded faster over a 28.8 modem than many of their "modern" counterparts do over DSL.

            I do agree about the loading and rendering. I cannot believe that modern sites take so long to load and render.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Fair enough; 1997 was probably the height of the browser wars, and there was a lot of "this site best viewed in ..." crap floating around.

            That's true, but it's only because folks were (stupidly imo) biting off more than they could chew. My sites were pretty much W3C compliant, and I often put (as a parody of the stupid sites) "best viewed in any browser." It even worked in Mosaic. And I had mouseovers, javascript (which degraded gracefully if your browser didn't support it), music, animations... pretty much

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      The interface is clunky and 1997ish but hey.. that's your government at work!

      http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/JLEX/JLEX-NA.html

      As opposed to posting a URL that can't be clicked on? [nasa.gov] That's more like 1987ish.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        As opposed to posting a URL that can't be clicked on? That's more like 1987ish.

        I never saw any unclickable links on Compuserve or the bulletin boards, and damned few on the internet in 1997. OTOH I'm constantly annoyed at sites that use javascript fo rtheir links for no reason whatever, making it so you can't open the link in a new tab, or worse, Flash which forces a new window to open. And I see more and more of it.

        If you use javascript for links, you're a moron. Period.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 03, 2011 @06:56PM (#38253548)

    This is really weird, but all of the last several lunar eclipses have occurred exactly at a Full Moon!

    Non only is this very spooky, but it also proves astrology!

  • Tho interesting, this is like telling your alien friends on the mars that you are celebrating christmas in 21 days from now... (instead of telling them you do every year on December 25; for those who didn't get it)
  • There is a lunar eclipse every 29.53059 days (29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 2.8 seconds). It's just not always visible from the Earth's surface. The complete calendar for the next decade is here:
    http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEdecade/LEdecade2011.html [nasa.gov]
    so you may plan ahead.
    • by sackbut (1922510)
      Did you look at the calendar you quoted? Let's see for next year: (2012 Jun 04 11:04:20 Partial 140 0.370 02h07m Asia, Aus., Pacific, Americas 2012 Nov 28 14:34:07 Penumbral 145 -0.187 - Europe, e Africa, Asia, Aus.). Every 29 days... hmmm... nope. The moon circles the Earth that often but due to the (about 5 degree) tilt of the orbits it does not fall in the shadow that often. Also, if the moon is eclipsed, it is visible from an entire hemisphere. You may be thinking of a solar eclipse fo
    • Re:Technically... (Score:5, Informative)

      by voidphoenix (710468) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @10:02PM (#38254576)
      No, the Moon doesn't always pass through the Earth's shadow on every orbit. It's (the Moon's) orbital plane is tilted with respect to the Earth's.
  • by Cyko_01 (1092499) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @09:14PM (#38254302) Homepage
    so what you are saying is that if I miss it then I can catch it next time in 3 years and its no big deal?
    • by youn (1516637)

      Assuming the mayans are not very accurate in their doomsday scenario and 2012 is not the end of the world :p

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I assure you tha tthe world as I know it will end -- I'm eligibe to retire next December!

  • My last final is that morning.

  • DOOM 1 shareware came out on 12/10/1993. ;)

  • I'm waiting for a total lunar eclipse to happen where it's visible from Australia, preferably when it's also not winter.
  • Will Google and Sloosh be doing a livestream of the event, like last time? [slashdot.org]

There is no royal road to geometry. -- Euclid

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