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Space Science

Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight 161

chuckpeters writes "A total lunar eclipse will soon darken the full moon for most of North and South America, Europe, and Africa. The Moon rises about five p.m. EST and the eclipse will be in penumbra. Totality begins at 8:06 p.m. EST. and ends at 8:31 PM EST and the partial eclipse ends at 10:45 PM. EST" To obtain the time and location for your area, use the Lunar Computer. It looks like the weather will cooperate and we will have clear skies for most of the country. Articles can be found at NASA,, Sky and Telescope, and Starry Skies."
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Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight

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  • Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KD5YPT ( 714783 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @11:17AM (#7423883) Journal
    Wow, we get to see the moon go out. This is cool. Since we're talking about lunar eclipses, I would like to share some cultural things.

    In Taiwan, it was believed traditionally that the lunar eclipse is caused by a massive dog who ate the moon. So during lunar eclipse, everyone took out their cooking pans, pots and stuff and hit them with utensil in hope to scare the dog into spitting the moon back out.

    Just some interesting info.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08, 2003 @11:22AM (#7423900)
    I'm still waiting on this solar eclipse to end. (not with the moon though... it seems that this pesky middle section of the earth is blocking my view... any way to remove it??)
  • Does anybody have the eclipse times for Europe ?

    Ed Almos
    Budapest, Hungary
    • This site [] gives you predictions for any location. good Luck
    • "Does anybody have the eclipse times for Europe ?"

      Start (16:30) EST, where Eastern Standard Time is 5 hours behind GMT. That makes 01.30 in England, which is using GMT at the moment. (update: USNO says 01:06 GMT for beginning of totality)

      My website says that hungary is in GMT+1, which would make it 02:06 start (for a couple of hours duration), unless you're still using daylight-savings time?

      Anyone further east than hungary will have to get up even later in the morning, unless you're a hacker, in which c
    • Re:Europe (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You can enter your long/lat/time-zone here: tm l
    • Here you can see a world map with information about this lunar eclipse: []

  • The times for the UK, and indeed the whole of eurpe. it looks from the map like it'll be very early in the morning.
  • by BallPeenHammer ( 720987 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @11:25AM (#7423909)
    ...courageously shielding the moon by blocking all them solar flares with our planet!

    Three cheers for Earth!

  • CET times (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jesrad ( 716567 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @11:25AM (#7423911) Journal
    The Lunar Computer will only give you US times. BTW only the Northern East Coast will get totality. You should be able to see the full eclipse from anywhere in Europe, North Africa and Ukrain.

    The Moon will be in penumbra at 11 PM CET. Totality begins at 2:06 a.m. CET on the 9th of November, and ends at 2:31 a.m. CET, and the partial eclipse ends at 14:45 a.m. CET.

    Substract one hour for GMT.
  • Lunar Eclipse (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Aneurysm ( 680045 )
    I saw a complete lunar eclipse over Cornwall in the UK about 12 years ago, when I was about 8. It was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen, as I have never witnessed the sky so clear, and seen so many stars. I recommend having a look at the Milky Way whilst the eclipse is at totality. I think I enjoyed the Lunar Eclipse better than the Solar Eclipse that appeared right over Cornwall in 1999, as it was just too cloudy.
    • Re:Lunar Eclipse (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Seeing a full lunar eclipse on a cloudless night is truly beautiful. I saw one when I was doing my military service in the finnish army and we were out doing some night-orienteering. Of course they had to mess with us and schedule it during a full lunar eclipse. But the upside was the since were were god knows where out in the finnish forests there was absolutly no light pollution.

      Ah, I can still remember when I saw that truly awsome amount of stars starting to appear as the moonlight waned away. I have ne
    • Re:Lunar Eclipse (Score:3, Informative)

      ... of course, you can an even better view of the Milky Way on any clear night with a new moon. Not selling the experience of seeing the eclipse short, you understand. ;) Just pointing out that the night of the new moon is pretty much always the best for looking at just about anything else in the night sky.

      And location, location, location. I live in Colorado. High up in the mountains, you can go out on a night with a brilliant full moon and still see the Milky Way quite clearly, because there's no skyg
  • by Pollux ( 102520 )
    It looks like the weather will cooperate and we will have clear skies for most of the country.

    You don't know what the weather here in Cairo's like! Forget lunar eclipses! The smog's always so thick, it takes the rain two days to seep through all of it before it finally hits the ground!
  • by LinuxGeek ( 6139 ) <> on Saturday November 08, 2003 @11:34AM (#7423934)
    It should be visible []tonight after the eclipse.
  • Right now it's fairly cloudy, but hopefully it will clear up, according to
  • by pointzero ( 707900 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @11:38AM (#7423950) Homepage
    EXN has all the times for the eclipse in Canada. Check'em out! I'll be out watching! I love astronomical events. w00t! w00t!

    EXN article/eclipse times for Canada
  • location will be retrieved from a file with over 22,000 places listed.
    i only counted a bit over 50.
    oh, yeaaah, there's like N.Mariana Islands, but i'm missing the "REST OF THE WORLD" option. besides, what's up with the names of country songs in the dropdown menu?
  • Farmers' Almanac Online [] has some info on this as well.

    Me, I just hope I can see it - rain's predicted for southern California.

  • Slight Correction... (Score:5, Informative)

    by citking ( 551907 ) * <> on Saturday November 08, 2003 @11:41AM (#7423959) Homepage
    from the burn-your-eyes-out dept. There is no risk of damaging your vision by looking at a lunar eclipse. The sun is positioned behind the earth which blocks light from hitting the moon, so if anything you may have to strain in some places to see the lunar eclipse. Solar eclipses, on the other hand, do present a danger of vision loss cuz staring directly at the sun is never a good idea.
    • HAHAHAHA (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I don't know what amuses me the most: you for posting this or 3 people for finding it "informative".
      • We had a telescope setup outside with a solar filter [] and were doing observations of sunspots 6 months ago for astronomy. We did not have a solar filter so we put an inverted bevarage cup upside down on the finder scope that we drew a skull and cross bones on to warn people.

        Enter: A business student who took off the cup placed it on the ground and than looked momentarily through the finder scope was instantly screaming and shouting and cursing and talking of sueing us the school and the sun; hilarious onl

    • Actually the danger from solar eclipses is from people looking at the occulted solar disc & coronea which *seems* safe to look at but still emits a shit load of UV rays that's going to fry your retina before you realise it's starting to hurt.
      • If it's an annular or partial eclipse you'll have problems, but a total eclipse isn't all that dangerous. A peak at a UV image [] of the sun reveals that the UV is limited to the lowermost corona and photosphere. Also the cornea and lens of your eye absorb most of the UV. It's the infrared radiation that's going to burn your retina. Cataracts aren't any funner than a burnt retina.
  • It looks like the weather will cooperate and we will have clear skies for most of the country.
    Not in Tallahassee, FL, where it is eternally cloudy... Sometimes I feel like I'm in the "desert of the real" scene from the Matrix when I'm here.
  • by losttoy ( 558557 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @12:04PM (#7424021)

    The site provides detailed weather and sky charts for almost anywhere in the world. Cool, eh!!

  • Might want to re-read the weather report posted, looks like the Great Lakes region, northeast (N. Carolina up), and desert southwest are the only parts of the country to have good weather. Pretty much everywhere else will be cloudy.
  • I have a program called MoonDock for my Dock in Mac OS X. I launched it and was surprised to see that there's no mention of the lunar eclipse tonight. Is there a program that has as equally accomplished interface and has good lunar data on it, that, also shows lunar eclipse information? (For the Mac)

    And for that matter, can anyone tell me if Starry Night Pro is worth the purchase?

    Tonight will be a good night to impress friends with my green laser pointer - yep couldn't resist the ThinkGeek Ad anymore.
  • Meteors (Score:5, Informative)

    by Aardpig ( 622459 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @12:24PM (#7424088)

    It's worth also pointing out that tonight we will be experiencing the Leonids meteor shower. This is one of the stronger showers of the year, and back in 1998 it produced around 200 meteors per hour. While its not possible to predict how many meteors there will be this year, the fact that the shower is combined with a lunar eclipse makes it rather special, IMHO. Interestingly enough, the same conincidence happened last year!

    • I remember '98 Leonids shower. That was really beutiful! One of the greatests things I've seen in my life, I think. (1st is '91 solar eclipse)

      It's a shame we have full moon tonight, so seeing the shower will be harder. In the other hand, if we had not full moon, we would not have eclipse.
    • Re:Meteors (Score:4, Informative)

      by Accipiter ( 8228 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @08:22PM (#7426088)

      It's the Taurid meteor shower.
      • Yes, you are right - apologies for my original error. The Taurids are peaking from the 4th to the 7th, while the Leonids won't peak until the 17th to the 19th.

  • conspiracy (Score:4, Funny)

    by mraymer ( 516227 ) <> on Saturday November 08, 2003 @12:28PM (#7424102) Homepage Journal
    Anyone notice how the day Matrix Reloaded hit theaters there was also a lunar eclipse? And now we have another one in time for Revolutions... It's a conspiracy, I tell you! The Matrix has you!

    But seriously... here's a nice animation [] of what we can expect tonight.

    • But seriously... here's a nice animation of what we can expect tonight.

      I have watched about 5 lunar eclipses before, and although fairly accurate, there are a few details that bother me about that animation. For one, during the "core" of the eclipse, they brighten up the image to make it more visible. I realize that monitors can't reflect the real sky very well with regard to range and some compensation is needed, but I think they overdid the compensation. (Every eclipse is different though, as explaine
  • "To obtain the time and location for your area..."

    Unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse happens simultaneously regardless of where you are. The only questions are A) what time zone you're in (a little simple arithmetic), and B) whether you're in the right place to have an unobstructed view of the moon.

  • In the next few days, when anyone describes the Lunar eclipse to you, say "Wow, was the moon full before the eclipse?" I've found that invariably, they'll say "Why yes, it was!"

    You can then make them feel kinda dumb by pointing out that the Moon is always full before an eclipse.

    • You can then make them feel kinda dumb by pointing out that the Moon is always full before an eclipse.

      You are a troll in real life too!

  • Nice (Score:5, Funny)

    by bogie ( 31020 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @12:46PM (#7424165) Journal
    Time to fly to a small 3rd world country and take over. Once I demonstrate that I can make the moon disappear I'm sure I'll be declared their new King.
    • You have to put on a display and tell them the moon is dying or angry as anyone can see from it's blood red color. Yes, that's been creeping people out forever. It even bothers animals. The blood red moon might just as well be used to agitate the first world as a sign of golbal warning, "Look how red it is! Our indexes show that this is not normal, do as we say and all will be well."

      The problem in the third world is that someone is likely to smack your silly head with their BBC shortwave radio. They m

  • Any pointers to software where you put in your longitude & latitude & it draws a star map for your location?

    I'm googling in another tab, but I'm hoping for a pointer to something that actually works.

    I got the azimuth & altitude figures for tonight, but I'm having a little trouble visualizing it.
    • What OS? Sun Clock [] for Win32 includes a sky map. I won't vouch for it being great (I Am Not An Astronomer) but if you want something for free that you can set up in a few minutes, give it a shot.
    • If you run linux, Kstars [] is an excellent and free choice. If you don't, there's a web based sky chart [] available from Sky and Telescope magazine's website.
    • by spaceyhackerlady ( 462530 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @04:23PM (#7425018)

      I like xephem. It even shows details of the eclipse tonight.

      The astronomy of the eclipse is borderline here: the eclipse is in progress when the moon rises. The weather is also borderline, alas, but I'll see what happens.

      The last lunar eclipse here (back in May) was 95% clouded out, with just a few glimpses through breaks in the clouds toward the end. But the one I saw before that (Toronto, 21 January 2000) was perfect, not a cloud in the sky, with a coppery grey ash burnt-out thing in the sky where the moon should have been. Magic!


      • The astronomy of the eclipse is borderline here: the eclipse is in progress when the moon rises. The weather is also borderline, alas, but I'll see what happens.

        YES! The clouds parted this afternoon and the eclipse was stunning!

        The moon rose at 0037 UTC, and I acquired it down in the haze at 0050, about 20 minutes before totality. During totality there was a bright spot on the limb that reminded me of the diamond ring effect on solar eclipses.

        Way cool.


  • Better Calculator (Score:4, Informative)

    by loconet ( 415875 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @01:04PM (#7424234) Homepage
    Here is a better calculator [] with the option to find times for the rest of the world as well as other eclipses.
  • Danjon Scale (Score:4, Informative)

    by ripleymj ( 660610 ) < minus language> on Saturday November 08, 2003 @01:43PM (#7424383)
    Amateur astronomers are encouraged to make a note of the appearance of the eclipse and rank it on the Danjon scale. The scale [] looks something like this:
    L = 0 Very dark eclipse. Moon almost invisible, especially at mid-totality.

    L = 1 Dark Eclipse, gray or brownish in coloration. Details distinguishable only with difficulty.

    L = 2 Deep red or rust-colored eclipse. Very dark central shadow, while outer edge of umbra is relatively bright.

    L = 3 Brick-red eclipse. Umbral shadow usually has a bright or yellow rim.

    L = 4 Very bright copper-red or orange eclipse. Umbral shadow has a bluish, very bright rim.

    The data is collected by Sky & Telescope and eventually NASA. For lack of another address, (astronomy AT is collecting data. Along with your rating on the Danjon scale, please include the following:
    -Time of Viewing & time zone
    -Sky Conditions: (e.g. clear, thin clouds, partly cloudy, etc.)
    -General Location
  • by Jouni ( 178730 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @04:37PM (#7425083)
    .. who will be too busy playing in the Nethack tournament [], capitalizing on the +1 luck bonus tonight. :-)

    Cheers, Jouni

  • by rodney dill ( 631059 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @05:13PM (#7425247) Journal
    Yesterday's []Astronomy Picture of the Day has a good animation, and today's [] has a picture of the eclipsed moon in infrared.
  • According to the NASA article, we will miss it.

    I am seriously peeved about that...
  • It's raining here and we will miss it anyhow.
    That sucks man.
    Because of a conflict with a meeting I missed the last one we could see too.
  • Does anybody know what a lunar eclipse is supposed to do to werewolves? Do they change? Do they change back when it starts and become wolves again when it ends? Any ideas?
  • I started watching the eclipse at 5:27 ("official time" for the moon entering umbra in my area) and I have gone outside every so often to check. It's so cool.
  • From the 30th roof of my apartment building in NYC it's a beautiful site. A mysterious dim red circle suspended over the city. I'll head back up in a few minutes when it begins to wane. It's a little cold to sit the whole thing out up there.
  • It so happens that the moon was visible through my four year old's bedroom window. After bath and pajamas, we sat and watched it get smaller and smaller together until it disappeared (but of course was still visible, just darker).

    Another nerd in the family! Hooray!

  • Live images of the eclipse as seen from the two largest cities in Norway can be found here []. Updated every 3 minutes.
  • I live in Hawaii and won't be able to see a thing, you insensitive clod.
  • Here is a picture [] of the moon taken about five minutes ago while it is getting out of the Earch's shadow.
    1 sec exposure, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300 mm, with a Canon EOS 10D.
  • I was able to view the entire eclipse from beginning to end here in upstate NY. It was clear and cold and the moon, as it is full, was tremendously beautiful.

    The symptomatic red tinge was clearly evident and for once in this great while the moon seemed wonderfully warm. I am glad at seeing this full eclipse, I missed the last celestial event over the summer during the meteor shower. What a great November event!
  • by Chacham ( 981 ) *
    Think we can coax the natives into giving us something, if we give their moon back?

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."