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April Swenson, Managing Broker at
Coldwell Banker Ocean Shores Brokers Real Estate

Cell / Text: 360-589-2777
          Fax: 360-289-3941                       
Ocean Shores, WA Real Estate

Total Lunar Eclipse
Ocean Shores, WA

February 20, 2008 ~ Ocean Shores was evident to a grand sight this night with the Total Lunar Eclipse. With perfectly clear skies, I, April Swenson, watched the total eclipse and took these pictures down by the Jetty. The eclipse began at about 5:45pm and ended at about 9pm. The Total Eclipse lasted for about 50 minutes between 7 and 7:50pm and was a sight to see with its deep redish-orange color. With very few city lights, the eclipse could be seen, along with the constellations, in its full glory.

An eclipse of the Moon can only take place at Full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of Earth's shadow. The shadow is actually composed of two cone-shaped parts, one nested inside the other. The outer shadow or penumbra is a zone where Earth blocks some (but not all) of the Sun's rays. In contrast, the inner shadow or umbra is a region where Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. If only part of the Moon passes through the umbra, a partial eclipse is seen. However, if the entire Moon passes through the umbral shadow, then a total eclipse of the Moon occurs. About two to four times each year, the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth's penumbral or umbral shadows and a penumbral (hard to detect), partial or total lunar eclipse occurs.

During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth blocks the Sun's light from reaching the Moon. While the Moon remains completely within Earth's umbral shadow, indirect sunlight still manages to reach and illuminate it. However, this sunlight must first pass deep through the Earth's atmosphere which filters out most of the blue colored light. The remaining light is a deep red or orange in color and is much dimmer than pure white sunlight. Earth's atmosphere also bends or refracts some of this light so that a small fraction of it can reach and illuminate the Moon. If the Earth had no atmosphere, then the Moon would be completely black during a total eclipse.

The last total lunar eclipse took place on August 26, 2007. The next total lunar eclipse will not happen until December 20, 2010.

(NOTE: This picture was interesting and caused by my unsteady hand with the camera. Also, the above two paragraphs were quoted from NASA's web site).

April Swenson, Managing Broker & CRS
Coldwell Banker Ocean Shores Brokers ~ Ocean Shores, WA

Cell / Text:   360-589-2777
Fax: 360-289-3941    

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