Did you see the eclipse?

  1. It was cloudy when I went to work last Thursday night (7P). A little after 9:30 my patient asked me to look for the moon out the window. It was clear and beautiful!
    I turned my patients bed (IV, pleurovac, monitor leads and all) so he could see the almost totally covered moon low in the sky. We both loved it. My other patient was still in the ER and I had everything ready.
    What a wonderful few minutes!

    http://www.msnbc.com/local/WTMJ/J40830.asp

    A total eclipse of the moon

    MEG JONESmjones@journalsentinel.com

    May 15, 2003 - Earth will cast its shadow over the moon
    Thursday night, giving people who tilt their heads toward
    the sky a glowing treat - the first total lunar eclipse to be
    seen around these parts in years.



    Stargazers only need their eyes - not telescopes - to glimpse the
    eclipse as the moon orbits past the Earth's huge shadow starting
    around 8 p.m. and darkens totally about two hours later.

    Though there's an average of two lunar eclipses each year (the next
    one is Nov. 8), not all are equal. Some are stunning, such as the one
    expected tonight - weather permitting - while others are pretty paltry.
    In fact, the last good total lunar eclipse folks in Wisconsin ogled was
    in January 2000.

    "If the sky is clear, it's going to be really neat," said Jim Lattis,
    director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Place.

    The sky may or may not be clear. The National Weather Service in
    Sullivan forecasts skies to be partly cloudy tonight, so there's a 50-50
    chance the lunar eclipse can be seen in Wisconsin.

    Providing that the skies are relatively clear, the moon could appear a
    copper color, like a shining penny, because of "earthshine" - when
    reflected light shines from the Earth to the moon and is bounced
    back, said Christopher Sirola, an astronomer who teaches in
    Marquette University's Physics Department.

    If it weren't for the Earth's atmosphere, the moon would disappear
    during a total eclipse. But because of atmospheric conditions such as
    clouds and dust particles floating above the planet, the moon can
    range in color from dark gray to blood red.

    People who watch the eclipse out in the country are likely to see a
    more colorful eclipse while those in metropolitan areas, where there's
    much more ambient light, won't see quite as nice a show, said Sirola.

    What makes this total lunar eclipse so special is that the moon will
    appear larger because it will be very close to Earth. It will be only a
    half-day past its perigee - the point in its orbit when it's closest to the
    Earth.

    "It's as close to the Earth as it gets," Sirola said. "The moon orbits in
    an ellipse instead of a circle so sometimes its orbit takes it far away,
    but this time it's close."

    During a total lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the outer part of
    the Earth's shadow, called the penumbra, and the inner part, known
    as the umbra, which is the darker of the two, said Lattis, who teaches
    astronomy classes at UW-Madison. As the moon passes into the
    umbra, it gets less and less light from the sun until it's plunged totally
    into darkness.

    While solar eclipses happen quite rapidly - they're usually over within
    a few minutes - lunar eclipses take their own sweet time. Tonight's
    will last about three hours, with the total eclipse, the time the moon is
    entirely covered by the Earth's shadow, lasting 53 minutes, according
    to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Pretty much all of North and South America will see most or all of the
    lunar eclipse. The rest of the world is out of luck because it will be
    daylight when the eclipse is happening or the moon will not have risen
    yet in that part of the globe.

    Sirola suggests heading outdoors around 9 p.m. when Earth's shadow
    will begin to cover the moon. The moon will be completely covered in
    shadow from 10:14 to 11:07 p.m.

    "It looks really strange, like a little bite is taken out of the moon," said
    Sirola. "You can go outside every couple minutes and take a look,
    but if you're really nuts, you can sit and stare at it for an hour."

    UW-Madison's Space Place, 1605 S. Park St., will host a public
    talk on the eclipse and will provide telescopes for better viewing
    of it. For more information on the free event, call (608)
    262-4779.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    in cloudy seattle? HA!
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    I heard a Seattle song called "View from Home" with the line:
    "Down on the road we tell all the turkeys
    Yes it's always raining and the sun never shines."

    It WAS raining in September the only time I was there.
    Beautiful too.
  5. by   jemb
    Sure did see it. I went outside and brushed the dogs so I could watch it for awhile as it changed.
  6. by   GPatty
    Nope, as usual, I was at work....wish I could've though....
  7. by   P_RN
    Beautiful. We live in the country but still turned off all the yard lights. Like a huge yellow orange ball.
  8. by   Bonnie Blue
    I went to look after watching ER and couldn't see it. I went out 15 minutes later and the clouds parted enough so I saw it! It was really cool! Twenty minutes later it started raining so I wasn't able to see the shadow leave. Better luck next time.
  9. by   boggle
    clouds, clouds, and more clouds..... wish I could have seen this one.

    I did look for it though. Saw a lunar eclipse a few years ago, and one on a perfectly clear November night in 1993. What a great sight!
  10. by   nowplayingEDRN
    It was raining and cloudy........bwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!
  11. by   atownsendrn
    Nope didn't see it. It was raining here, too. But it did bring some interesting "psych pt" to the ED that day.
  12. by   unbridled
    It was misty due to a late rain, so we only caught glimpses. And sometimes we couldn't tell if it was the eclipse covering the moon or just the mist. But it was sorta cool sitting out in the mist. And listening to all the tree frogs sing.

    My brother had a very clear view. He's a pilot and he watched it from the cockpit at 33,000 feet.

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