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Moon Space Science

Lunar Eclipse October 17 12:00 GMT 33

saskboy writes "Space Weather gives viewing instructions for tonight's partial lunar eclipse. 'According to folklore, October's full moon is called the "Hunter's Moon" or sometimes the "Blood Moon." It gets its name from hunters who tracked and killed their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter ahead. The Hunter's Moon of 2005 is due on Oct. 17th.'"
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Lunar Eclipse October 17 12:00 GMT

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  • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @02:13PM (#13804429) Homepage Journal
    "The full moon that occurs closest to the Autumnal Equinox (first day of fall) is known as a Harvest Moon. Due to the low angle of the ecliptic to the horizon, the moon rises only about 30 minutes later each night around a harvest moon as apposed to the normal 60 minutes later each night for the other full moons in the year."
    Harvest Moon []

    It should also be noted that the only night a lunar eclipse can take place is on a full moon. Otherwise the earth cannot project a shadow onto the moon.
    • What is the difference between a new moon and a lunar eclipse? Isn't the definition of both that the Earth comes between the sun and the moon??? This has been driving me nuts!

      Yeah, yeah, I know about Google and Wikipedia.

      • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @02:43PM (#13804602) Homepage Journal
        A somewhat common misconception is that the moon is dark in places because the earth is shading it. This is NOT the case!

        This can be seen with a flashlight and a few balls you have laying around. Put the flashlight in the middle, and shine it at the earth and moon balls. You'll see the side of the ball facing away from the sunlight will be dark. If the moon is to the left of the earth, at a 90 degree angle to the sun, then people on earth will only see half of the Moon.

        An eclipse is the rare occurance of the moon being in [nearly] perfect alignment with the earth and the sun. Instead of the shadow being caused by a lack of sunlight being available, to shine on the surface, it's the earth that is passing in front of the moon.

        There's also something called "earthshine" [ had a story the last week on this]. It's sunlight from the earth that lights up the moon when it would otherwise be completely dark in a region that has no direct sunlight.
        • A somewhat common misconception is that the moon is dark in places because the earth is shading it.

          Wow. Have these people never looked at the moon during the daytime?
          Or, to the GP, has he not noticed that solar eclipses occur at new moon?
          We see the sun with a bite of blackness.

          BTW why do you call it a "flashlight" ? It doesn't flash.
          • Flashlight is the terminology used in Western Canada and I assume most of North America, instead of the more European "torch", which we know as a burning stick. A flashlight does flash if it's moved about, it looks like a flashing light in the distance from the movement of being carried.
    • The Harvest Moon is also known as the Blood Moon and the Fruit Moon, and is the full moon closest to the equinox, which was last month's.

      The full moon we are experiencing now is the Hunter's Moon.

      I'm looking forward to next month's, AKA the Beaver Moon.
  • and a blue moon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @02:16PM (#13804447) Journal
    is the second of two full moons occuring in a single month... so they do happen
  • by Seumas ( 6865 )
    It's 2005. Why are we getting all giddy over a stupid eclipse? They're a fairly regular occurance. Why dont' we also get excited about a full moon? The only difference between the two is that one happens more or less every month and the other happens more or less every year.

    This is the equivalant to a FOX news "news *ahem*" story.
    • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @02:46PM (#13804622) Homepage Journal
      "Why are we getting all giddy over a stupid eclipse? They're a fairly regular occurance. "

      People get excited about things that happen only once a year all the time. *ahem birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas*

      Astronomers like any old excuse to get out and look up at things that don't happen every day. The fact that we can predict these things when most people don't know the difference between a protractor and a compass, is, well, impressive. Don't spoil the astronomer's good time by saying it doesn't matter. Lots of things depend on the moon, and having more people focussing on the same good thing at the same time is bound to have positive effects.
      • The difference is, astronomers don't get naked and drunk and high on E and part underneath the moon all night, jiggling their astronomer bits about to celebrate yet another eclipse of one sort or another.

        Well, maybe they do, but I'm pretty sure nobody wants to see it in that case. ;)

        Funny thing, though. I was just commenting the other night about how amazing it is to see such bright stars (and so many of them!) int he night sky here in Broomfield, Colorado. I'm used to Portland (Oregon), where you either ha
    • It's 2005. Why are we getting all giddy over a stupid eclipse?

      We can put a man on the moon; we can have a woman in the senate; we can talk to our mothers living two thousand miles away in Chicago while we shop for groceries in Los Angeles; We can manipulate DNA on scales of billionths of an inch; network television regularly offers believable portrayals of catastrophic disasters and explosions, not to mention news programs can take us to the other side of the world each and every night; Fermat's Last T

      • But people still get excited when the moon gets dark for a few seconds.

        Consider the distances involved: a 12800km wide object is almost completely blocking the Sun from reaching a 3500km wide object that is 400000km away. The fact that this happens at all is the reason some of us are excited.

        And although this is a partial eclipse, it's going to last more than "a few seconds". Probably closer to an hour...

        • The lack of comments under this story only serves to prove my hypothesis! Hahahahahaa!!!

          Major League Baseball playoffs: 1
          Major celestial coincidence: 0


    • I'm sure you'd rather have the bimonthly "Funded study states Windows [faster|more secure|cheaper] than Linux" story?
    • Eclipses happen much more rarely than that, for any given geographical location. To see a total solar eclipse from home, I have to wait decades on average. In fact there hasn't been one in my lifetime and I'm 26. A partial solar only comes along once every 3 or 4 years. It is obviously a rare enough event that it gets a Slashdot mention.

      It is also very exciting to see something odd happen to the Sun, which normally stands unassailed in the sky. I suppose it is a similar sort of fascination to seeing the Twi

  • You get to see the whole friggin eclipse! Meanwhile, those of us less fortunate ones on the East Coast have to look for it at moonset!
  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @04:41PM (#13805242) Homepage Journal
    ...or you turn into a werebat.

    Hah! You were poised to flame me for confusing the solar eclipses with lunar eclipses, weren't you? Admit it!

  • A friend and I had an argument about the orientation of the moon. I believe that the same side of the moon always faces the earth. He believes that the same side of the moon always faces the sun, and that the dark side never gets light. Who's right?
  • Thanks for letting me know about these unpredictable events, I mean it's truly shocking in this day and age we cannot predict eclipses.

    Tell me, will this momentus event be preceeded by a sunset and folowed by a sunrise?

    (sign) /. news for joe public posted by incompetent admins (sign)

  • The weather here near Detroit, MI, was clear - an unusual event by itself. If Detroit were much further west, then the eclipse would have happened after the moon set. As it was, it set while the heart of the eclipse was just getting started.

    It was a partial lunar eclipse, not the full monty. The max size of the shadow of the Earth on the Moon was predicted to happen around 8 AM EST, and really just a small bite at that. Moon set was about 7:45 AM EST, local time. Oddly, though one might expect the or

  • It's clear and beautiful here and I now live in a place with an unobstructed view of the sky. Perfect! Now, let's see... what time do I have to get out there... 12:00 GMT, October 17... The 17th?! D'oh!
    Small form factor barebones computer reviews []

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