Clad Moon Rising...
Posted February 28, 2007 1:35 p.m. EST
Updated March 1, 2007 9:44 a.m. EST
This will be the first total lunar eclipse since October of 2004, but is also the first in a series of three that will occur within the next year. The timing is a little tricky with this one in our area, though, as the moon will rise just a bit before the sun sets at 6:11 pm, and we will remain in Civil Twilight, with a fair amount of residual sunlight, until 6:37 pm. There will still be a little leftover sunlight in the sky even as the moon begins to emerge from the earth's shadow just before 7 pm, but by then the surrounding sky should be dark enough for a reasonable look at the eclipsed lunar disk, so long as your view isn't blocked by nearby trees, hills or buildings. This is a bit of a concern for this event, since even by the time the moon begins to drift out of the earth's shadow, it will only have risen to an angle of just over 9 degrees above the eastern horizon (almost due east at that time), which is only about a tenth of the way up, of course, to straight overhead. Also of note, the planet Saturn will be visible in the sky a little ways up and a bit to the right of the moon at that time.
For a nice discussion of the upcoming eclipse, see
and for some really nice photos of the most recent eclipse in 2004, and many others at the main site, see
which was the source for the two composite images above.