By OUTLOUD Staff
Sky watchers in South Florida were very lucky on the evening of March 3rd as the Earth’s shadow crossed the Moon’s face. The sky was practically cloudless and perfect for watching a lunar eclipse even though we were tuning into it later than Europe, Asia and Africa.
Not everyone had the opportunity to witness this lunar eclipse since your location dictated if it would be visible along with the times of your sunset and moonrise.
When the Sun, Earth and Moon line up in almost a straight line in space, the light from the Sun casts Earth’s shadow on the Moon.
Did you know?
The Earth is 4 times the size of the Moon at a distance of 250,000 miles.
Umbra: when the Moon is in the darkest part of Earth’s shadow.
Penumbra: when the outer part of Earth’s shadow casts only slight shading on the Moon
The Moon doesn’t disappear, but becomes a dark reddish color.
It looks red because the Earth’s atmosphere has dust and moisture particles that scatter the light passing through it and red light spreads the most. The same things happen in sunsets.
As far back as ancient Greece, perhaps even in Egyptian times, many great intellectuals, such as Plato, Pythagoras and Aristotle, believed that the Earth was round. One reason was the shadow cast on the Moon during an eclipse was always spherical like the Earth.
The next total lunar eclipse is August 28th, 2007.