Lunar eclipse visible in the Panhandle
Tue, 21 Dec 2010 00:11:50 GMT —
UPDATE: This year's lunar eclipse was fairly visible here in the Panhandle, some viewers said they were able to get a good look at it. If you missed it you will have to wait until April 2014, for the next one. You can also click here, to watch a time lapse video of it.
What made this year's lunar eclipse special was the fact that it fell on the Winter Solstice, the last time that happened was 372 years ago.
If you were able to view the total lunar eclipse and took pictures, you can upload them to our MoJo page by clicking here. And if we get some good ones, they may be featured on ProNews 7 at 5, as our Photo of the Day.
A total lunar eclipse will occur early Tuesday morning, and you might want to check this out because it only occurs once in a red moon?
North, Central, and some South Americans can witness this lunar eclipse starting tonight, and should last until early in morning depending on where you live.
Something interesting about this lunar eclipse is that it will occur on the same day that we experience our winter solstice -- the next time that will ever happen again will be in the year 2094.
Dr. David Craig, Assistant Physics Professor, out at West Texas A&M University , says acts of nature like this one often go unrecognized.
"I think it's important for people to get out and appreciate the sky more. We live in an era with more and more artificial light. So, in a sense you can see what we've lost, and of course here in the Panhandle there are lots of opportunities for people to get out in the country or be away from bright lights. I think that might be one of the most valuable things," said Dr. Craig.
Dr. Craig says the eclipse was more than just a sight in early history, in fact, it was actually a tool.
"An eclipse of the moon was one of the first indications that the earth was round. Before totality you can see a little bit of the shape of the earth by the shadow that falls across the moon. It's probably the oldest way in which it was first realized that the earth was round that there was any evidence for."
The moon appears red because the sun's light bends as it passes through the earth's atmosphere, and the atmosphere filters out the blue colored light, leaving the deep red or orange color that we see.
People in the Panhandle can be on the look out for a red moon from 1:40 a.m. until about 3:00 a.m.