Friday, February 29, 2008

Twelve Lunar Eclipses

click on image to enlargeCredit & Copyright: Tunç Tezel (TWAN )

Explanation: Welcome to the extra day in the Gregorian Calendar's leap year 2008! To celebrate, consider this grid of lunar eclipse pictures - starting in leap year 1996 and ending with February's eclipse - with the date in numerical year/month/day format beneath each image. Mostly based on visibility from a site in Turkey, the 3x4 matrix includes 11 of the 13 total lunar eclipses during that period, and fills out the grid with the partial lunar eclipse of September 2006. Still, as the pictures are at the same scale, they illustrate a noticeable variation in the apparent size of the eclipsed Moon caused by the real change in Earth-Moon distance around the Moon's elliptical orbit. The total phases are also seen to differ in color and darkness. Those effects are due to changes in cloud cover and dust content in the atmosphere reddening and refracting sunlight into Earth's shadow. Of course, the next chance to add a total lunar eclipse to this grid will come at the very end of the decade.

3 comments:

Tommy said...

Did you get to catch the lunar eclipse from a couple of weeks ago? I was able to watch most of it. There was just a sliver of light on the moon when I finally went inside to get my kids ready for bed. Can't believe it will be 2 years until the next one.

Stardust said...

Yes just a bit of it though. It was so damn cold!

Can't wait for spring. This has been a very harsh winter.

Doubtful Daughter said...

I was pleased that the clouds decided to cooperate and disappear for the eclipse. My 9 year old kept going out and checking on it every 10 minutes or so, it was so neat.