What does a total lunar eclipse look like?
You can see for yourself on Wednesday, February 20, 2008, beginning at 8:43 p.m. EST. During a lunar eclipse, the moon is gliding into the shadow of the earth. Because the earth is round, earth's shadow has a curved edge. Long ago, ancient observers were aware that the earth was round by virtue of the shadow it cast. The orange hue is the refracted light from sunsets around the world that bends through earth's atmosphere and strikes the shadowed moon. Photography sometimes reveals subtle blues, greens, or purples in the mix as certain earth features affect the bent light. For example, ozone absorbs some red light and tilts some rays toward the blue side; hence you may some turquoise on the fringe. See http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/13feb_lunareclipse.htm for more info on what you can expect to see..
The 2004 total lunar eclipse was photographed from South Bend, IN, by John Jung-Zimmerman. This sequence was casually photographed through an 8-inch Dobsonian-mounted reflector telescope with a 25 mm eyepiece; camera was a Canon A40, handheld up to the eyepiece. The orientation of the moon and the shadows are skewed because the telescope mirror flips the image.
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