Lunar Eclipse - Another Item of Interest This Weekend on Saturday, December 10th, 2011
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes behind the Earth so that the Earth blocks the Sun's rays from striking the Moon (see VIDEO). One is coming to Northwestern North America at 14:31:49 UTC and crosses the earth to begin at around 7:45 a.m. EST (4:45 a.m. PST, 1245 GMT), when the Earth's shadow begins to creep across the lunar disk ; and enter totality at 7:05 MST, 6:05 PST. Totality will last 50 minutes, until shortly before moonset. (To learn more about UT and how to convert UT to your own local time, see Time Zones and Universal Time.) on Saturday, December 10th, the first visible in Western North America in 2011. Don't miss it -- the next total eclipse that will be visible in the North America won't be until 2014. (A total lunar eclipse is when the Moon is completely shadowed by the Earth. The Moon passes through the Earth's umbra, and no direct light can reach it from the Sun. However, the Earth's atmosphere refracts -- or bends -- light, at the same time filtering it, so that it illuminates the Moon with a dark red color. Depending on the prevailing condition of the Earth's atmosphere, in terms of cloud cover and dust from volcanic eruptions, the actual color of the Moon at totality can vary from near black (particularly at mid-totality), to rust, brick red, or bright copper-red or even orange.)
Animated explanation of the mechanics of a lunar eclipse, University of Glamorgan
For the first time, scientists spotted a black hole devouring a star in a distant galaxy. (see VIDEO) One of the rarest astronomical events, it's believed to happen only about once per 100,000 years per galaxy.
A new website lets astronomers ? and anyone who likes to watch stuff blow up ? calculate the damage a comet or asteroid would cause if it hit Earth.
The interactive website, called Impact: Earth! - Purdue University (available at www.purdue.edu/impactearth), is scientifically accurate enough to be used by the Department of Homeland Security and NASA, but user-friendly enough for elementary school students, according to the researchers who developed it.
The site could help scientists and the public alike better understand the destructive potential of comets and asteroids, which have caused massive extinction events in our planet's past, researchers said. However, it is a little slow to download because of the amount of data and the variables for any event.
Last total lunar eclipse of year visible from western US (abclocal.go.com)
Total Lunar Eclipse This Weekend - Last One Until 2014 (news.nationalgeographic.com)
Total Lunar Eclipse brings SkySafari to Android (prweb.com)
Watch a Live Feed of Saturday's Lunar Eclipse (wired.com)
Skywatch: Total lunar eclipse Saturday morning (summitcountyvoice.com)
LRO observes final lunar eclipse of the year (eurekalert.org)
Lunar Eclipse Saturday. Will You See It? (abcnews.go.com)
Full Lunar Eclipse Saturday Morning (myfoxphoenix.com)
Lunar Eclipse Will Supersize Blood-Red Moon Saturday (livescience.com)
Watch the total lunar eclipse, wherever you may be (cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com)