Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture
Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20


M. Spector M. Spector's picture

It's a clear night in Toronto. If it's clear where you live, step outside this evening and look at the full Moon. It will be passing through the Earth's shadow, causing it to become dark and orange/red.

The whole process takes several hours, so you can check back from time to time during commercial breaks or while waiting for a response to your latest brilliant post.

The times below are Eastern Standard Time. Just convert for your own time zone. (The diagram below gives PST times) The eclipse happens simultaneously from all viewpoints.


Partial eclipse start 8:43 pm
Total eclipse start 10:00
Midpoint 10:26
Total eclipse end 10:52
Partial eclipse end 12:09 am

The next lunar eclipse won't be for a couple of years, so don't miss this chance.


The eclipse is safe to observe with the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope.

As the shadow of the Earth covers the Moon, it doesn't become completely dark. Light refracted through the Earth's atmosphere still reaches the shadowed Moon and gives it a dull brown or reddish glow. The exact color of the glow and its darkness depend on the sootiness of our atmosphere - how recently volcanoes have gone off and how much cloud cover, storm activity, and human pollution there is around the globe.

As the shadow of the Earth moves across the bright face of the Moon, note that the edge of the shadow is curved. This proved to the ancient Greek astronomers that the Earth was round!

[ 22 February 2008: Message edited by: M. Spector ]

remind remind's picture

Thank you mspector, interesting historical point, and about the earth's atmosphere wonder how that oil refinery burning will impact the shadow?

Also, do you know why that only for the next 4-5 days the daylight will be 4 mins longer, and then goes back to as scheduled?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture


Originally posted by remind:
[b]Also, do you know why that only for the next 4-5 days the daylight will be 4 mins longer, and then goes back to as scheduled?[/b]

I don't know about this. Do you have a link?

remind remind's picture

No, sorry I do not and have been looking all day, which is why I thought I would ask you.

Mark Madriega on Global Vancouver weather this morning, mentioned that for the next 4-5 days the days, actual daylight would be 4 mins longer, and then it goes back to the normal progression and I missed why he was saying this. But thought it weird.

I haven't been to the Global web site to look though, because it is time exhausting searching that site with dial up and I didn't want to know that badly.


Hmmm... that sounds like one of those myths that circulates by email, like Mars looking as big as the moon at opposition (er... not).

Anyway, partial eclipse is on right now. Everybody stick your heads out your door or window to take a look. The Earth's shadow on the moon is curved, which is how the ancients figured out that the Earth is round.

It's an amazing sight, and it'll be totally eclipsed from 10:00 EST / 7:00 PST for about 52 minutes.

Will it be orange, red, copper, or pink? My money's on some sort of Tartan pattern. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

remind remind's picture

Did and it is just rising over the mountains, but north of the satellite that I am watching so the eclipse will have to wait. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Wow. That was amazing.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Hey honey its not over yet.


It's been framed perfectly in a window so I don't even have to go out.

remind remind's picture

The moon with its partial eclipse is now above the mountains, and everything covered in snow outside has this weird pinkish glow, as opposed to the blueish one usually with full moons.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Perfect view from my LR window - went totally black at 11:04 our time (not DST). About a half hour of total darkness to go.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Why am I covered in long hair all of a sudden, and my teeth are much longer than normal? [i][b]whhhooooooo!!!!![/b][/i]

Wilf Day

Hardly black. Orangey reddish brown. Like a sunset.

Which is just what it is. As the sun drops below the horizon the sky is red. Now imagine you're standing on the moon, watching the eclipse of the sun. As the earth moves in front of the sun, the only light you can see is the reddish sunset sky around the globe above you. So looking around the moon's surface, everything is now sunset colour. Which is what we're seeing.

Pre-literate folks found it very spooky, a bad omen. I think it's pretty. Especially if you like sunsets.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

From my vantage point, it went completely black. No red, no orange.

remind remind's picture

Your claws type well! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Anyone clouded out can [url= it on the web.[/url]


It really is a beautiful eclipse. I have a nice view of it out the window also and it's magical.


Coming out of the shadow now... The moon forms a nice triangle along with Saturn and Regulus.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

BTW, the "star" just below and to the left of the Moon is the planet Saturn.

The other bright object nearby, just above the Moon, is the star Regulus.

Cross-posted with Albireo. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 20 February 2008: Message edited by: M. Spector ]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Now that the moon's reappearing, I can see some red. Surprisingly, my fangs and hair have retracted. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

martin dufresne

Now take a deep breath and open your refrigerator. Slooooowly... [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img] [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img] [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture