Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

On the evening of Thursday, January 20, 2000, a total eclipse of the Moon will be visible from all of North and South America. West coast families are especially lucky because the totality occurs early enough in the evening for kids to enjoy. Here’s a roundup of sites to get your backyard astronomy lesson started. [Editor’s Note: An updated version of this topic can be found here: Lunar Eclipse]

Lunar Eclipse Computer4 stars

Want to know exactly when the total lunar eclipse is coming to your town? Simply enter your location and select the January 21 eclipse from the drop-down list of recent and upcoming lunar events. For example, in San Diego the moon will enter totality at 8:04 PM and leave totality at 9:22 PM. For international locations, use Form B to enter your location using longitude and latitude coordinates.

Lunar Eclipse Photography4 stars

"Photographing an eclipse of the Moon is fun and easy. You don't even have to worry about special filters to protect your eyes or your camera. Unlike eclipses of the Sun, eclipses of the Moon are perfectly safe to watch with the naked eye." Mr. Eclipse offers his expert photo advice ("Perhaps the simplest way to photograph an eclipse is to use the star trail method.") and a collection of his photos (scroll down the page to the Photo Gallery link.)

Lunar Prospector and the Eclipse4 stars

Although the Lunar Prospector mission is now complete (it ended on July 30, 1999 with a controlled crash into the Moon), this site has an excellent animation explaining lunar phases and eclipses. Click on Launch to view it. During the Prospector's eighteen-month mission, it faced two perilous lunar eclipses. What made them risky? The Lunar Prospector relied on sunlight to recharge its batteries, and scientists were concerned that during the eclipses, the Prospector's batteries would drain completely.

Sky & Telescope: Lunar Eclipse5 stars

"Just 20 days into this millennial year, a spectacular total eclipse of the Moon will occur over the Americas and Western Europe. Weather permitting, observers will see all stages of the event unfold -- something not possible from most of these regions since 1996 or earlier. Totality will be particularly dramatic in North America, where the red Moon will burn high overhead in a dark and crisp winter sky." Sky and Telescope is soliciting input from observers on how bright the moon is during the eclipse. Learn the five-point Danjon Scale (zero is darkest and four is brightest) and submit your report via email. Experts, by the way, are predicting a very bright eclipse of three or four on the Danjon Scale.

Total Lunar Eclipse5 stars

"An eclipse of the Moon can only take place at Full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth's shadow. The shadow is actually composed of two cone-shaped components, one inside the other. The outer or penumbral shadow is a zone where a some portion of the Sun's rays are blocked. In contrast, the inner or umbral shadow is a region devoid of all direct sunlight." This educational site is my pick of the day for its straight forward explanations of the three types of eclipses and the time-zone specific diagrams.

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

Eclipse Cam

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Lunar Eclipse." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 19 Jan. 2000. Web. 1 Sep. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published January 19, 2000. Last modified January 19, 2000.

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