Friday, July 27, 2018

Next Lunar Eclipse

Eclipse Moon Sun Light Lunar Crescent Astr  I love astronomy.  I own a telescope I picked up at a garage sale for $20 but I have not had a chance to use it much for the simple reason that the best time to use it in the middle of winter when the temperatures are down around -40.  I do not like being outside for long periods when its that cold.

I can't use it in the summer because its so light, you do not get a chance to see the night sky.  I think we go from Mid April to Mid August with no darkness so we cannot see the stars.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll get a good chance to observe the next lunar eclipse because its visible to people who live in most of Europe and Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Antarctica, and the Indian Ocean.

Unfortunately, I'm in Los Angeles on July 27, 2018 when the lunar eclipse happens but people in this town are not going to see the event. I'm frustrated because it gets dark here and I don't get to see it.  This one is going to be the longest lunar eclipse in this century.  Fortunately, lunar eclipses happen about twice a year, usually in January and June or July.

For those of you who are not sure about lunar eclipses, it happens when the moon appears to go dark as it passes through the earth's shadow.  These are often referred to as a blood moon because as the moon enters the earth's shadow, it turns a deep dark red.  This occurs because the light rays are bent around the earth and hits the surface of the moon. 

The eclipse can be observed anywhere it is night time and its length depends on how close to moon rise or moon set it begins.  The best thing about lunar eclipses is that you do not need any special equipment to view it and your eyes are not at risk of being damaged by watching it.   For those who are able to observe it, the event should take up to four hours from start to finish.

Four days after this lunar eclipse occurs Mars is at its closest point to earth since 2003. The next lunar eclipse is due to happen on January 20, 2019 and there is a good chance people in the United States will be able to watch it.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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