Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sky Watching

Tuesday's schedule: school, gift wrapping, hair appointment, workout with trainer, some final Christmas shopping, and a long nap. I don't know how I am going to fit in that nap, but if you call our home that day, you will be answered by a sleepy voice because we are not planning to sleep much Monday night.

In fact we plan to fit in some schoolwork during the night. Sure, waking the kids up around 1:30 am seems a little extreme just to fit in some Science - but I have no choice. Because shortly before 2:00 am CST during a full moon on the night of Winter Solstice, a lunar eclipse will begin. The entire eclipse should be visible in the contiguous United States, assuming the weather cooperates.

The last time a total eclipse took place during the Winter Solstice was in 1638. The next one is predicted to by 2094. That makes this a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of us. In addition the next total lunar eclipse that will be entirely visible in the contiguous United States will be in 2014, so I do not intend to miss this one.

Here are some sites for information about the eclipse:
http://www.livescience.com/space/etc/lunar-eclipse-winter-solstice-meteor-shower-101219.html

I sent an email to our local news station's Chief Meteorologist requesting peak viewing times and information about where and how to view this event. I plan to gather the telescope and some binoculars so we can get some really detailed views!

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