Partial lunar eclipse, August 16
[/Xam Bushmen] The Moon becomes angry if people laugh at it, and "goes into the sky" (becomes eclipsed). When its anger has cooled, and its heart is comfortable again, it comes out.
[Nyae Nyae !Kung Bushmen] "… the lion putting his paw over the moon to darken the night so he could have better hunting…"
The Moon slips through the inner shadow of the Earth late on Saturday night, 2008 August 16.
By ten o clock in the evening, the tip of the Moon will have a red tinge as it passes deep into the Earth's shadow. By ten-thirty, half of the Moon will be bathed in red light and by 11, three-quarters of the Moon will be red. Shortly before 1 on Sunday morning, the eclipse will be over. Let's hold thumbs for clear skies.
If you have a digicam, be sure to photograph the eclipse. See the lunar photography tips article for helpful advice. And do send me you photos – I'll be hosting a gallery of eclipse photos and would love to see yours.
Eclipse poster, showing the progress of events (PDF, 831K)
Somebody recently asked me why the Moon is cold. On the contrary, the Moon is actually hot. After all, the Earth and Moon are about equally far from the Sun, receiving about the same amount of sunlight. The Moon reflects only about 7% of the sunlight that falls on it – the rest is absorbed and heats the surface. In fact, at the lunar equator, the mid-day temperature rises to over 100°C. If an astronaut was to drop an egg on the Moon, it would fall much slower than on Earth, and land safely with no danger of cracking, and then boil vigorously.
nothing more to see. please move along.