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Total Lunar Eclipse Glorious from Marquette Wednesday
Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Friday, February 22
, 2008
By Michaeleen O'Sullivan, UPfirst feature writer
Photos by Todd Carter, UPfirst photographer

Marquette, MI--When Earth's shadow became visible against the Moon during a total lunar eclipse Wednesday night, we ignored the 2 below reading on our thermometer and stepped outside for a few glorious, very chilly minutes.

The digital camera doesn't always work so good in below zero weather, but at 9:12 pm, Todd snapped the photo below during the beginning phase of the rare event.


Beginning of Total Lunar Eclipse, Marquette, Michigan, North America, 9:12 pm, Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It was awe-inspiring, and thought-provoking, to see Earth's shadow gliding over the Moon.  A total eclipse of the moon diagram from the NASA Eclipse Home Page is included below.

The Moon turned a rusty red color during the eclipse.


Rusty Red Moon during Total Eclipse of the Moon, Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Marquette Township, Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Total Lunar Eclipse Explanation
from NASA Eclipse Home Page:

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. For more information on how, what, why, where and when of lunar eclipses, see the special web page lunar eclipses for beginners.

Courtesy NASA Eclipse Home Page

 

Path of the Moon through Earth's umbral and penumbral shadows during the Total Lunar Eclipse of February 20, 2008 EST
Courtesy NASA Eclipse Home Page

 

According to NASA, our next chance to see a total eclipse of the Moon in North America will be on December 21, 2010.

Seeing the rare eclipse vision out in the clear was well worth taking a few steps outside into our frozen winter wonderland.

Only recovery needed after the eclipse watch:  Quick!  To the wood stove!

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