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Thread: Items of Interest in the Sky

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    Xcalibor's Avatar
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    Default Items of Interest in the Sky

    Being an avid amateur astronomer, I thought maybe I can add some value to the group by providing an occassional post about items of interest in the night sky.

    So here goes -

    Total Lunar Eclipse:

    The most exciting event in February is a total lunar eclipse on the night of Feb 20th. The moon enters the umbra (when you can begin to visually note the change) at 10pm ET. With mid-eclipse occuring at 10:26, and the end of the event at 10:52 ET. The moon will turn dark, blood-red at full eclipse.

    Those in the Eastern US will see the entire eclipse. Those of us in the Western portion of the country may not see the beginning of the eclipse, as the moon will just be rising as the event begins.

    Saturn will be a few degrees ENE of the moon during the eclipse.

    This will be the last total lunar eclipse for almost 3 years.

    Planets:

    As mentioned, Saturn will be visible in February, rising at sunset. So it will not be well positioned for viewing until a couple of hours after sunset.
    Mars is well up in the sky at nightfall all month long, starting out fairly bright, but fading somewhat as the month goes on.
    And Jupiter, Venus and Mercury are all morning planets this month, best seen a couple of hours before dawn.

    So get out there a take a look at the beauty that surrounds us!
    Xcalibor

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    I would love to know when this stuff is happening. I find out like months before and forget to check it out if it's something I can see in my area.

    Xcalibor, You should put these events on our events calendar. I would appreciate a reminder.

    Thanks for the info.

    Jean
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    I already put the eclipse on the site calendar a while back so that Holli won't miss this one

    “Tmcky ymu kra Ymu, tekt fs truar tekl trua. Teara fs lm mla kifva wem fs Ymuar tekl Ymu.” ~ Dr. Seuss

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    Thanks sluggy! LOVE your new slugwear.
    Jean
    ***********************
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    Great idea, J
    And thanks, Sslug

    I'll try to remember to post the bigger events on the calendar as I do my updates.
    Xcalibor

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    Just a note: right now in the eastern U.S., the bottom-left of the moon is disappearing.

    It looks so cool, and it's freezing outside

    Of course, for the people in more western parts of the U.S., the eclipse is nearing its final stages.
    Anderson

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    Unfortunately its been raining all day here in "sunny" Southern California
    Xcalibor

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    I'll message holli on myspace just to be sure she sees it - hope our cloud covered lightens!
    hope I can actually SEE this one - amazing - and not another until 2010! thanks for the reminding!
    em - luanne

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    Well I am looking at a moon that is the color of burnt umber. Very cool. Been watching it since the beginning. Have been driving here and there since a little after 5pm. For some unknown reason it is unusually clear tonight. A few intermittent clouds. Gonna keep looking up. Actually my foyer is a vaulted one and I can view this entirely inside right now. So I guess everything is lined up for me now. Can't wait for the other shoe to drop and some sort of bad luck to catch up to me.
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    What a lucky night. I've had an amazing view of this eclipse after expecting bad weather. I've been staring up at the sky since the beginning around 8:30 EST . I watched the full moon slipping away into a shadow and then the whole moon was made of gold. It was cloudy in the early evening but it cleared up so nicely for this beautiful amber moon.

    Right now I am watching a small sliver of light creeping up where the darkness started creeping in over two hours ago. What an amazing event.

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