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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse - February 20th, 2008

Wednesday nights are my regular gig at the Moose Lodge in Fairfield, Illinois, so as I was driving there that afternoon, I happened to notice that at the exact time the sun was setting in the west, a beautiful full moon was rising in the east. This is what it looked like when I got to Fairfield:

I always make a stop at my sister's house when I play the Moose, so this trip was no exception. I stopped there before the gig this time, as I had a picture I wanted to drop off for her. When I got there, she told me about a lunar eclipse that was due to take place that night. Now, I hadn't heard about it, but things like this always interest me. I took a few pictures of the moon for her, using their camera, which is identical to mine, and adjusted it's settings. By setting it up for night photography, she would be able to use this same basic manual setting to get some shots of the eclipse, because I figured I wouldn't be able to while playing that night. As it turned out, however, I did manage to get a few during some breaks. Below is a composite of some of those shots:

As you can see by the first one at 8:10 p.m., the eclipse had already covered about half of the disc of the Moon. About 20 minutes later, about 5/6 of it was in shadow. The one at 9:16 p.m. was when it was near totality and it didn't show up as well. You'll have to remember that I was using my camera, hand-held, and was just stepping out the back door of the Moose Lodge. The city lights obscured the skies to a certain extent, but I managed to get some pictures despite the conditions. At least it wasn't cloudy during the eclipse. Over an hour later, the total eclipse had happened and was now in the process of revealing the lunar surface again. By 11.01 p.m., it was almost completely past and a few minutes later, the effects of the Earth's shadow could hardly be seen. All in all, it was something that I was glad to have been able to personally witness.

I can only imagine the horror, the uncertainty and the fear something like this must have had on the people of Earth thousands of years ago. Looking up to their skies to see something they were familiar with as it slowly started to disappear, as if some evil god must have been devouring it. I wonder what it must have felt like. Thank goodness we have progressed enough so that we know an eclipse is a natural phenomenon and it's nothing to be worried about. But, we still don't know about everything that's up there in the night skies. I find that extremely fascinating as well. The citizens of Earth may soon discover a new object in the sky that has been spotted before by those same ancient peoples thousands of years ago. Stay tuned! (Keyword: Niburu.)

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