Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

There’s a total lunar eclipse which is taking place right before 6am Eastern time, and as nocturnal as I am, there’s no way I’ll be up in time to see it. So, I’ve decided to stay up to watch this rare event. A total lunar eclipse is rare: it happens less than once every two years–but since you can’t see every lunar eclipse your spot on Earth, the opportunity to see one is even rarer.

During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth gets between the Moon and the Sun. The Earth’s shadow falls on the full moon, which turns it dark to observers’ perceptions. Light bent through the Earth’s atmosphere gives the moon a reddish glow, more red depending on the ‘sootyness’ of the atmosphere at the time.


What’s happening: Eastern Central Mountain Pacific
Partial eclipse starts: 4:55 am 3:51am 2:51am 1:5 am
Total eclipse starts: 5:52 4:52 3:52 2:52
Eclipse mid-point: 6:37 5:37 4:37 3:37
Total eclipse ends: 6:23 5:23 4:23
Partial eclipse ends: 6:24 5:55

Ok, I’m gonna try to do it. Anyone else staying up too?

UPDATE 5:09 EST: A tiny edge of black has touched the moon’s periphery. All around the moon is a large glowing corona of pale reddish light.

UPDATE 5:41 EST: Too sleepy to get out of bed to go check the eclipse. Watched this instead:


  1. #1 Silver
    August 29, 2007

    On the east coast of Australia the eclipse was at the much more reasonable time of 8pm to 9pm. I was reminded at how bad I am at holding a telescope. Still, a beautiful display.

  2. #2 Shelley
    August 29, 2007

    So sleepy….Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

  3. #3 Dave Munger
    August 29, 2007

    Good thing you didn’t stay up. The eclipse was yesterday.

  4. #4 Shelley
    August 29, 2007

    Hmmm. Now I don’t feel like such a wuss. 🙂 Man, things stay in the buzz too long.

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