Monday, December 20, 2010

ECLIPSE - THE SKY GODS' CHRISTMAS GIFT



Wake up, sleepyhead and see the sky. On December 21 a lunar eclipse will last for three-and-a-half hours from its start as a partial eclipse at 1:33 a.m. ET to its finish at 5:01 a.m. ET, according to NASA. The previous lunar eclipse occurred June 26.

During a lunar eclipse you'll see an array of color changes as the moon, the Earth, and the sun align so that the sun's rays are shielded from the moon. An eclipse of the moon can only take place if the moon is full,.

The moon will pass through the Earth's umbra - shadow - which blocks sunlight from reaching the moon. The moon will take on a dramatic red color, so says NASA.

Before and after the total eclipse, the moon will pass through the penumbra, or outer region of the Earth's shadow, where Earth blocks some of the sun's rays, but not all.

If you live in North America, Greenland and Iceland and Western Europe you'll see the beginning stages of the eclipse. Western Asia sees the later stages after moonrise.

Compiled from News Sources and NASA

Gerrie Ferris Finger