President’s Week Lunar Eclipse


The last one occurred on August 28th, 2007… and the next one won’t be visible in our area until December 20-21st, 2010, so the upcoming total eclipse of the moon is a sight not to be missed!

Coinciding with the President’s Week vacation that many schools have, you’ll be able to see the eclipse starting at 8:45pm on the evening of February 20, 2008. The 51-minute-long total eclipse begins at 10:00 pm local time. Our current forecast puts at least some cloudiness in the region Wednesday evening, with a trend towards clearer skies later at night. Enough breaks may occur early on, though, for the eclipse to be visible in upstate New York and western New England

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Moon and the Sun, casting its shadow over the full Moon. Due to refraction and reflection of sunlight, the Earth actually casts two shadows on the moon: the lighter penumbra (Latin for “almost shadow”), and the darker shadow core, called the umbra. Depending on atmospheric conditions and how much ambient light is present, a lunar eclipse by the Earth’s penumbra may or may not be noticeable. An eclipse of the Moon by the Earth’s umbra is almost always noticeable, but never produces a completely dark moon. (If you want to know why,’s artcle on the subject provides a great explanation; just click on the link to the right of this story.)

If skies are clear and the weather cooperates, this eclipse (which is visible from most of the planet) has a potential audience of over 3 billion people. Don’t miss out!


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