Total eclipse of the moon next week
There is going to be a total eclipse of the moon next week, on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 20 for North American observers and early in the morning of Feb. 21st for Europeans. If you're in Hawaii, Asia, or Australia, I'm sorry, no eclipse for you (this time). Don't feel bad, you've been getting the good solar eclipses lately, and with them lots of astronomy tourism dollars (or rubles, or whatever). Don't believe me? Check this out.
It's the only total lunar eclipse this year and the last one until 2010. For North American observers is it conveniently timed, too, with totality lasting from 10-11 on the East Coast and 7-8 out here in Cali. Get the full details here.
If you've never seen a lunar eclipse, you owe it to yourself to pull out some lawn chairs and watch. You don't need any observing equipment at all, but you'll be amazed at how cool the moon looks through binoculars, even cheap ones. If you have a telescope, it won't hurt; you can pick your favorite lunar getaway spot and watch it slowly drown in darkness and then be reborn in light.
The picture at top was taken by me earlier tonight. It's not very good compared to some others I've taken, but I'm pretty happy with it given the circumstances of its birth. I took it through this thing, which I built myself:
More details at my Flickr site: scope and photo. And I gotta credit David Gilbank for the design, which I shamelessly ripped off.
Labels: Rockets and Space Stuff