Saturday, 3 March 2007

Bleeding Moon


Pic from NBC Technology & Science


The moon looks like it is bleeding this evening. A full moon is not usually red! So I googled it, and guess what... it's a total eclipse, the first one since 2001. And it's a good one here, in the north of England - cloudless. If you read this in time, go and have a look - it's very strange! You can observe it safely too, because it isn't like a solar eclipse.

I'm sure lots of people will blog about this, but I just can't help myself! It started at 20.16 and mid eclipse will happen at 23.21 - that's 6 minutes away. It'll all be over by 02.25.

What's happening

The earth has moved in front of the sun and so what we are seeing is the earth's shadow being cast. You'd think that this would make the moon invisible, but because of light refraction, some light still bounces onto the moon. Furthermore, blue light is scattered through our atmosphere more than red light, so this is what remains, and we end up with a beautiful bleeding moon. The clever people at Jodrell Bank explain this in much more detail. Right - I'm off to watch the rest of it!



Pic from Jodrell Bank

4 comments:

A. Writer said...

My picture of the eclipse was probably a waste of time but you can see something (even if I have to tell people what it is!). If only I had a decent zoom on my camera!

Anyway, I was so pleased it was clear so I could see it properly! Saw a couple of shooting stars as well. Not bad!

hesitant scribe said...

Yes it was lovely! I had an excellent view of it from here too. I only wish I'd had a telescope - had one years ago and it would have been great. As it was, had to make do with the naked eye. Still...

And shooting stars too! I love those!

liz fenwick said...

Didn't see it!snif, snif.....must have been beautiful...

hesitant scribe said...

It was gorgeous... but slightly far away, so very small! It was also bloody cold!