Shadow & Substance - Total Lunar Eclipse December 21, 2010

Well... the sky is looking pretty cloudy with some drizzle here in Kentucky right now. How is the weather for you? Below are a couple of sites that will broadcast the eclipse live later tonight:
http://www.astronomylive.com/ or http://www.ccssc.org/webcast.html
Total Eclipse of the Moon (animated) for December 21, 2010

You can read more here through NASA's press release.
Do you need a graphic for YOUR time zone for this month's lunar eclipse? Just click on one of the following:

This graphic is centered on mid-eclipse at 2:17am CST, Tuesday morning, on December 21st. The picture shows where the moon will be between the constellations of Taurus and Gemini at that time. (The moon is exaggerated in size.)
Interested in contributing your observations of this lunar eclipse?

Sky & Telescope is seeking crater immersion and exit timings during the upcoming total eclipse.
This has to do with "enlargement of the umbra" which isn't fully understood. The umbral shadow varies in size about 2% from eclipse to eclipse. So... they would like for you to take your telescopes out and watch and time the Earth's shadow crossing the above craters. You can read more about this here and where to send your observation to. (The above map is from Sky & Telescope.)
entrance UT
Grimaldi 6:38
Kepler 6:52
Tycho 6:53
Aristarchus 6:56
Copernicus 7:00
Pytheas 7:05
Timocharis 7:10
Manilius 7:16
Menelaus 7:19
Plinius 7:22
Plato 7:23
Eudoxus 7:28
Taruntius 7:28
Aristoteles 7:30
Proclus 7:30
exits UT
Grimaldi 9:03
Aristarchus 9:04
Kepler 9:11
Plato 9:14
Pytheas 9:17
Copernicus 9:19
Timocharis 9:19
Aristoteles 9:24
Eudoxus 9:26
Tycho 9:31
Manilius 9:34
Menelaus 9:37
Plinius 9:41
Proclus 9:50
Taruntius 9:53

(The red arc is part of the circle that makes up the umbra that you see going across the graphic above. Use the green buttons to stop or reverse the animation. The graphic is an approximation based on the timings above.)
Next total eclipse of the Moon will be on December 10, 2011 for the western half of USA (for the total phase), and the one following can be seen anywhere in the USA on April 15, 2014!
Our Full Cold Moon, for Monday evening, December 20th, one hour after sunset.
(This is how the moon looks several hours before total eclipse... of course!)

The eclipse tonight happens during the fall season for winter does not begin until 5:38pm CST Tuesday evening. As mentioned above, mid-eclipse occurs some 15 hours earlier at 2:17am CST. (I know... I am splitting hairs!)

The software for this image is free and can be found at http://www.stellarium.org/.
What time is sunrise or sunset for you? Check this website out (time and date.com).

Partial Eclipse of the Sun on January 4, 2011 animated

This is the first of four partial solar eclipses next year. The first two will occur in the northern hemisphere, and the final two can be seen in the southern hemisphere. There are no total eclipses of the Sun next year.

Total Eclipse of the Sun - August 21, 2017 - USA

Click on the map to see the full animation
Past Animations

Click on the lunar eclipse graphic above for past animations of eclipses, meteor showers and more.

Jovian moons on the night of September 3, 2009

Past Photographs

November 7, 2004
January 30, 2001

May 15, 2005

November 20, 2003
Past Graphics


July 2000

March 2002
Updated on December 20, 2010

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