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Total Lunar Eclipse This Weekend

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the umbra-and-penumbra dept.

Space 133

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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Nothing can eclipse my first post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18217602)

Except for a first post.

I hate Jews because of Israel.

Time information (0, Redundant)

koreaman (835838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217614)

What time is this supposed to happen?

Re:Time information (5, Informative)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217628)

Begins at 2018 GMT, with the full eclipse being 2244 - 2358 GMT.

Have your fun (1)

Bretai (2646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219932)

We'll miss all of it here in California. The total eclipse happens at 2:45pm PST, and will last about an hour after that. Sunset is at 6pm.

We'll have our turn on Aug. 28, when the tables (and the planet) will be turned. Mark your calender.

Re:Time information (5, Funny)

wkk2 (808881) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217704)

It will start 10 minutes after the clouds arrive. Sorry, but that is what usually happens.

Re:Time information (2, Funny)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217724)

Be afraid of those clouds look like 2 fists grabbing the moon's disc :) Lunar goatse!

Re:Time information (1)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218544)

Hah, my clouds are here more than 12 hours in advance! I just LOVE snowstorms! But seriously, if you're in eastern North America, the eclipse will be started as the moon rises, stick your head outside and take a peek, if only for a few minutes. If you live in western North America, wait a couple months, I think the next lunar eclipse is in August and you've got front row seats.

Re:Time information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18220794)

Yes, the next one is August 28th. Probably the only thing I will get for my Birthday!

Re:Time information (4, Informative)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218606)

Usually astronomical events happened 24 hours before they are posted in /.

Seriously, while this one made it in time, wouldn't it be possible to put a "astronomy event" tag on submissions in firehose so that those submissions can be treated in priority and make it on time on the frontpage ?

Dupe! (1)

3.14159265 (644043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220024)

Nah, not really, not this time...
But I'm betting we'll get one in two or three days! :)

Or just submit earlier (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220448)

Seriously, while this one made it in time, wouldn't it be possible to put a "astronomy event" tag on submissions in firehose so that those submissions can be treated in priority and make it on time on the frontpage ?

I don't imagine this eclipse snuck up on anybody such that there needs to be an emergency front page post... what's that about "a lack of planning..."?

Re:Time information (1)

mikael (484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220824)

Usually astronomical events happened 24 hours before they are posted in /.

Back in the good 'old days of USENET and ISDN lines, interesting scientific and astronomical events would be posted and
forwarded regularly. Unfortunately, our relay was the local university whose feed would regularly become backlogged if not
choke altogether. We would only hear about the event three days after it had happened.

Re:Time information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18219098)

So right!

Where i live 6 out of 7 days are cloudy, why is that you think?

Re:Time information (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18219650)

Where i live 6 out of 7 days are cloudy, why is that you think?
Most likely, it's because your heart is filled with loneliness. But, it could also mean you live by an ocean. Just buy a parrot - if that doesn't bring light into your life, then move inland.

Re:Time information (1)

Ernesto Alvarez (750678) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219196)

Hah. Murphy in action.

I can claim exactly the opposite experience once.
Cloud cover all day, and at the last moment there was just a partial break in the cover, just enough to observe the eclipse.

Simply beautiful.

Re:Time information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18217834)

nighttime.

Re:Time information (1)

larpon (974081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217906)

the time total recall is on FOX

Re:Time information (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18218080)

I'm sorry, but I don't understand your current FOX measurement standard of time. Please convert this into '24' hours. For example, "The following events takes place between the hours of 5:00pm and 6:00pm on the day of the lunar eclipse." Oh, and will there be any plot twists involved?

Re:Time information (4, Funny)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218260)

Oh, and will there be any plot twists involved?

The following events take place between the hours of 8:00pm and 9:00pm EST:

  • NBC - David Copperfield special: "Making the Moon Disappear!"
  • CBS - David Blaine special: "No Sooner than Lunar, The Vanishing"
  • ABC - Criss Angel special: "Taking My Ball and Going Home: The Moon is Mine"
  • FOX - John Edward special: "Channelling Houdini: Souls of the Lost Moon"
  • DSC - Mythbusters special: "Superstition Run Amok: The moon is Still There, Stupid"

Re:Time information (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18218724)

You forgot teh competing specials from Al Qaeda & Bush claiming it to be a sign from Allah/God that their cause is right and just.

Re:Time information (1)

notnAP (846325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219882)

Al Jazeera will air Al Qaeda's propaganda, while Fox will air Bush's.

Re:Time information (1)

solitas (916005) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219728)

From a site whose URL I forgot to log last night:

KEY TIMES FOR ECLIPSE
---------------------
Moon enters penumbra: 2018
Moon enters umbra: 2130
Totality begins: 2244
Mid-eclipse: 2321
Totality ends: 2358
Moon leave umbra: 0111
Moon leaves penumbra: 0224
(All times are in GMT)

When where.. (5, Informative)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217622)

Re:When where.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18219208)

So this is called a "lunar eclipse", because the earth is passing between the moon and the sun. There's also the "solar eclipse", that's caused by the moon passing between the earth and the sun. Does that mean you call it a "terran eclipse" when the sun passes between the earth and the moon?

Re:When where.. (4, Funny)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220522)

No that what we call "OH FUCK"

Re:When where.. (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220082)

So i'm confused....I live in Chicago and my girlfriend (can you believe it?) and I were planning on watching tonight....what time can we expect to get the best view? I've seen conflicting times on different sites. If we go to look at 5:00pm would we see it? Or do we need to see it earlier?

I for one.. (2, Informative)

bumby (589283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217624)

I for one will have my camera ready, hoping to snatch some nice pictures.

Re:I for one.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18217952)

Owwwww! My eyez! Deez gargoyles zdo nuthing!

Re:I for one.. (1)

Dragon By Proxy (1063904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218370)

Our new crimson-lunar overlords will be most pleased with your acceptance.

Omen (5, Informative)

sporkme (983186) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217642)

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.

Re:Omen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18219120)

Look east at sunset. I'll be out there for sure.

How east are you? Europe? Asia or really far east?

Imagine the advertising revenue! (2, Interesting)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217652)

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.

Re:Imagine the advertising revenue! (1)

suiside (910651) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217850)

Last thing I want to see through my telescope is 1) goatse
In that situation I'd prefer a traditional mooning too.

Re:Imagine the advertising revenue! (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217986)

you don't need a telescope [snopes.com] ...

Re:Imagine the advertising revenue! (1)

Crazyscottie (947072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218194)

Shhh! Don't give them any ideas!

Re:Imagine the advertising revenue! (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218634)

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

Panic?! (2, Interesting)

oldwindways (934421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217660)

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.

Re:Panic?! (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217664)

Yeah, Homeland security thread-o-meter is now set to "Lunar white"

Re:Panic?! (4, Funny)

orasio (188021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217904)

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?! (3, Funny)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 ?

Re:Panic?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18219028)

You believe that fucking a virgin can cure aids and that witch-doctors can steal your penis. Why wouldn't you believe something is swallowing the moon?

Re:Panic?! (2, Insightful)

orasio (188021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220988)

Trolling? Ok. I like trolling.
In my country, there's nobody who thinks that fucking a virgin can cure aids.
We don't believe that Saddam Hussein used to eat babies for lunch, either.
We don't believe that the world was created in six days. I someone can create the world in six days, someone could turn the moon red, and eat it in a minute, right? We don't expose our kids to that kind of "knowledge", either.

I don't think someone should be talking shit about culture in the third world, when talking from an US centric forum.
People in Europe enjoy a better degree of literacy and culture than most third wolrd countries, but the US has a long way to go, especially in the stuff that we are talking about, like believing myths above science and stuff.

Re:Panic?! -- good excuse to convert virgins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18219522)

In years past, virgins were sacrificed. Now they are just "converted" when the moon turns red.... Better get busy as you don't have much time to make the moon turn back white later tonight.

Re:Panic?! (1)

Flunitrazepam (664690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217996)

i'm sure they are getting used to the first and second word blocking the sun

Re:Panic?! (1)

joako (724668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218172)

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?! (4, Insightful)

maggard (5579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218278)

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".

Revelations! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18218288)

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?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18219284)

My granny back in India used to force us to throw away any and all food in the house - the belief was that the food is contaminated. There were some other such things too back in those, er, dark days - like nobody was allowed to go out, expose to the light or take a look at the sky.

Re:Panic?! (3, Insightful)

ChuckleBug (5201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220148)

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.

Re:Panic?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18220904)

I replied to your post but not necessarily to what you posted other than the "third world" term. I agree that is not really the right description to have used. I think it would be interesting how some of these people react and what their belief is. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6763557/ [msn.com] Part of the article:

Among them are the Sentinelese, a hunter-gatherer society that has lived in almost complete isolation from modern society on the tiny North Sentinel Island due west of Port Blair, the chain's capital. Even before the disaster, the population of this Stone-Age tribe, which some anthropologists have called the last undiscovered people, was estimated at only 100-200. They have remained hostile to outside interference, so very little is known about their culture.
I recall reading an article when the tsunami first hit that a flyover was allowed of one of the islands and they had not seen any people and feared that they were all dead. It turned out that they had managed to find what little high ground there was and everyone made it there. Oral history had taught them what to do. Pretty cool.

Re:Panic?! (1)

Ralconte (599174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220710)

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.

Thats no moon!. (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217690)

How appropraite since I am having a Space 1999 weekend here after I downloaded all episodes :)

Re:Thats no moon!. (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218610)

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!

Western Hemisphere (1)

jasonwea (598696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217696)

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".

Re:Western Hemisphere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18217744)

I always get confused trying to find a continent where Europe is supposed to be. I see Asia, and I see Africa, and then some islands to the west, but that's about it.

Re:Western Hemisphere (1)

TheBig1 (966884) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218164)

It's the better hemisphere [wikipedia.org] . (It's the same way on Mars, too!)

Celestia image (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217726)

I have already looked at this from the moon, using the truly quite excellent Celestia.
Eclipse shown from the moon (225Kb) [ukfsn.org]

Re:Celestia image (3, Interesting)

xantox (1012401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218314)

An actual photo of an eclipse was taken from the moon, by the Surveyor 3 mission in 1967. I made an artificial color version of it, showing the red color refracted from Earth atmosphere (coming from all simultaneous sunrises and sunsets) at http://strangepaths.com/total-lunar-eclipse/2007/0 2/27/en/ [strangepaths.com] (click on "Eclipse seen from the moon" to open the image).

Re:Celestia image (1)

stateofmind (756903) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218698)

Nice work on the image, thanks for the link.

clouds (3, Funny)

Njovich (553857) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:clouds (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217816)

Invade Scotland then. Rule Britania!

Re:clouds (1)

radio4fan (304271) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218122)

From meto.gov [metoffice.gov.uk] :

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

Re:clouds (2, Funny)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218334)

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.

It's times like these... (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219102)

...that I'm actually happy to be living in Morocco. Perfect vantage point and crystal clear skies tonight.

The only sad part is that I don't have a long enough lens for my camera to do it any justice. :(

!%$£&! street lamps! (1)

gdav (2540) | more than 7 years ago | (#18221328)

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!

It's all liberal lies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18217846)

eventually casting it in an eerie red glow as sunlight filters through our atmosphere onto the lunar surface

It's a red glowing WMD from russia sold to terrorists...

Quuuhhuuuick poke your eyes out or the terrorists will win!

Clouds (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217898)

It's gonna be cloudy tonight you insensitive clod!

OffTopic: Saturn and Moon pictures (1)

Deag (250823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18217984)

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.

Moon in front of the Sun from earlier this week (2, Interesting)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218148)

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day [nasa.gov] has the moon passing in front of the sun, as seen by STEREO.

Next Slashdot Post... (4, Funny)

TheScreenIsnt (939701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218078)

"Total Lunar Eclipse This Weekend a Hoax."

Re:Next Slashdot Post... (3, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218454)

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.

Re:Next Slashdot Post... (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218866)

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.

Re:Next Slashdot Post... (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219640)

Someone's been reading Tintin.

I would assume the solar eclipse would save you as you command the gods to block out the sun.

Re:Next Slashdot Post... (1)

eobanb (823187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219864)

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.

Eric Idle (4, Funny)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218086)

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.

Re:Eric Idle (1)

iangoldby (552781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219906)

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. Number of stars in galaxy - could be at least 5 x 10^11 including all the low mass ones.

It's a hundred thousand light years side to side
5. Hard to define outer edge. At least 30000 parsecs.

It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick
6. Somewhat high: more like 2000 parsecs - 6000 light years

But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
7. Also high: thickness of disk near us is about 300 parsecs.

We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
8. Latest estimates of distance to galactic centre: 8.7 kpc.

And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
9. Only about 10^12 is the observable universe.

From Cambridge Natural Sciences Tripos part II lecture notes, 1990. I wonder if this syllabus is still being taught...

Re:Eric Idle (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220152)

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-replicating DNA. Nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay.

In this 'life', what is our fate? Is there Heaven and Hell? Do we reincarnate? Is mankind evolving, or is it too late? Well, tonight, here's 'The Meaning of Life'.

For millions, this 'life' is a sad vale of tears, Sitting 'round with rien nothing to say While the scientists say we're just simply spiralling coils Of self-replicating DNA. Nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay.

So, just why-- why are we here, And just what-- what-- what-- what do we fear? Well, ce soir, for a change, it will all be made clear, For this is 'The Meaning of Life'. C'est le sens de la vie. This is 'The Meaning of Life'.

A total lunar eclipse can be a beautiful thing (3, Interesting)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:A total lunar eclipse can be a beautiful thing (1)

dasimms (644188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219106)

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.

Re:A total lunar eclipse can be a beautiful thing (1)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219754)

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 then or after.

Btw, night orienteering during an eclipse is quite difficult especially if you find yourself in a fairly normal finnish forest. Becuase there are very few distinguishing features you can follow so it's a lot of map+compass work. And when you reach the chosen waypoint then need to try to check it by finding the closest identifiable feature on the map, do several hundred meteres of detour there to check your position and then do it all over again. We sooooo enjoyed that part.

Re:A total lunar eclipse can be a beautiful thing (1)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219520)

"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 the moon from Earth would have you looking almost directly into the sun. That we can have solar eclipses where the moon occludes the sun should make this perfectly clear.

What to do during the luna eclipse? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218296)

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 fathers should do their monthly new moon day ritual after the eclipse is completely over.

40 odd comments and... (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218380)

no-one's yet said...

that's no moon...

Moon base (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218384)

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 or backup pressure to avoid collapse. It is only 4 or five hours of power loss but it needs to be anticipated.
--
Engage Solar: http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]

Lunar Eclipse, explained. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218450)

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 as the rope they churned.

From the Ocean of Milk, came white elephants, the Goddess of Wealth Lakshmi, the deadly poison etc before the elixir. At that time Devas decided to keep all the elixir for themselves (but that is ok because they are the good guys). Lord Vishnu took the form of a siren and distracted the Asuras. Asuras, being bad guys, were very easily distracted by bewitching female form and went after her. The Devas divided the elixir among them and drank them. But among the Asuras was one named Rahu, who managed to get in the line and drink a portion of it. But before he could swallow it, Vishnu saw what was going on and cut his head off. Thus his body died but the decapitated head remained immortal floating around the heavens. Once in a while when it comes within range of the Sun or the Moon, it will swallow it creating the eclipse. But the Sun/Moon will pass through the open wound in the neck and re-emerge unscathed. That is how eclipses were explained in Hindu Mythology.

Nice story. Lots of interesting details. May be I should form a ReDiscovery Institute and start a campaign to get this theory "equal time" along with other astronomical theories to explain the eclipses. Dover, PA is nearby. Should run for a position in its school board, may be.

As If (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218582)

Cue up the appropriate soundtrack: Pink Floyd's Obscured by Clouds.

Inhabited!? (2, Informative)

Myopic (18616) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Inhabited!? (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219118)

30 million is what portion of 7 billion, again? Less than half a percent? :)

Re:Inhabited!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18219400)

30 million is what portion of 7 billion, again? Less than half a percent? :)

But if those 30m are from USA, they carry more weight. Say, 1 USA citizen = 1.1 English = = 1.25 Japanese = 1.5 Polish = 2 Germans = 5 French = 100 chinese = 100000 Indians = a gazillion iraquis

Considering this data for all countries, and with error +/- 10%, we can conclude that those 30m from west cost represents at least 30% of the world.

Thats a significant chunk of population, isn't it?

Re:Inhabited!? (1)

petenz (946161) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219600)

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!

Evil Clouds (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218656)

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.

Yay (1)

loconet (415875) | more than 7 years ago | (#18218810)

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

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18219250)

Yeah, and the west coast is completely socked in as well. I'd have to drive to southern Oregon (too late to start that) or Lytton to get a clear view I think. Crap.

Oh well, at least its not like we'll miss a solar eclipse...

Sacrafice a Virgin to restore moon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18219268)

Aren't we supposed to sacrafice/convert a Virgin if the moon turns red to make it turn back white? Of course, I forget, this is slashdot so I doubt we will get any help and the moon will remain red, crops will die, the weather will change, the earth warm, the ice caps melt, and the coasts flood.

re (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18219678)

nothing left to do, a total eclipse of the moon...

From the inhabited west coast (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18219916)

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, some sort of "if nothing else makes sense then panic" reaction. It must have scared the crap out of our ancestors.

...laura

Not Avialable in New Zealand! (1)

M0b1u5 (569472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220404)

Not Available in New Zealand!

Dag-Nabbit! Who organised this stupid eclipse?

There Is No Dark Side Of The Moon Really (1)

not_hylas( ) (703994) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220702)

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.

But the BEST view... (1)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 7 years ago | (#18220976)

...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. :(
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