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Thread: Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse 15 April 2014

  1. #1
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    Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse 15 April 2014

    This total eclipse of the moon on 15 April 2014 will be visible in full over the USA, from dusk for Australia and before dawn in Britain. Its position helps to visually calculate the position of the celestial equator and ecliptic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_2014_lunar_eclipse

    http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH20...l#LE2014Apr15T

    It is first in a tetrad, a group of four total lunar eclipses over two years. These total eclipses are known as blood moons because dust turns the moon red.

    Dates for the eight tetrads this century are here.

    This eclipse position is adjacent to the planet Mars, in a position where Mars will spend February and March before going retrograde until May. Look at Mars in February and March to see where the eclipse will be in April

    This diagram of the eclipse point against the background stars illustrates how to find the equinox point between Virgo and Leo, where the two lines of the ecliptic and the equator cross, on the other side of Mars from the eclipsed moon. The moon is on the ecliptic, the path of stars followed by the sun. At the equinox the sun crosses this point from north to south of the equator.

    Lunar_Eclipse_15_April_2014_Moon_and_Mars_in_Virgo.10220139_std.gif

    Eclipses at this same point in the sky were observed on 21 March 134 BC by Hipparchus, and on 23 March 4 BC in Jerusalem. Hipparchus apparently used the position of the adjacent bright star Spica to calculate the speed of precession of the equinoxes. This point, with the moon 'at the foot of the woman', has precessed by about 25 days against the seasons since ancient times.
    Last edited by Robert Tulip; 2014-Apr-13 at 02:53 PM. Reason: change "east Asia" to "Australia"

  2. #2
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    Excellent! Looking forward to a nice lunar eclipse.

  3. #3
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    Awesome, it's been a while since the last good one around here!

  4. #4
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    Many years ago, while watching a total lunar eclipse during the summer months, the usual red color at totality was a fairly deep blue that was caused by a massive forest fire in eastern Canada. The high altitude smoke drifting over the southern New England area and produced a literal "blue Moon". So when observing these eclipses, any high altitude dust/smoke can turn a normal "red" moon into other various tints of green, blue, pink, etc. Other sources of high altitude smoke/dust from distant volcano eruptions will cause the same effect if the upper air currents carry the coloring material between you and the Moon.

  5. #5
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    This week - Tuesday - Wednesday March 18-19, the moon is next to Mars, close to the position where it will be at eclipse next month on 15 April.

    Mars went retrograde at the beginning of March, close to the eclipse point. Take a note of where Mars is against the bright star Spica in Virgo, and see how far it has moved west by next month (ten degrees of arc).

    An eclipse next to Spica on 21 March 134 BC enabled Hipparchus to discover precession of the equinoxes. This eclipse in April 2014 is also next to Spica, showing just how far the equinoxes have precessed in the last two millennia. The stars are now close to 30 degrees of arc back from where they were against the seasons in the time of Hipparchus.

  6. #6
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    Can we get some volcanic eruption predictions; or at least an earthquake or two...Come on, the Moon and Mars are ganging up on Virgo!. This is an astrology field day! Any virgins left in Iceland, Italy, Mexico City or Hawaii? Any cults gathering to get beamed up? Shouldn't Spock or some other time traveler be hitting the earth about now? Somebodies got to throw the gods a bone somewhere...we only have one more day.

  7. #7
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    As someone who watched it unfold, I can say that this is the finest eclipse I've seen in over a decade, not least due to some unusual good luck in the weather department. It was much darker than I expected; I'd call it maybe 1.5 on the Danjon Scale.

  8. #8
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    When I glance out the side door of the hotel, Mars is the first thing I notice right now.
    Last edited by Tog; 2014-Apr-15 at 08:17 AM.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  9. #9
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    It's kinda chilly here tonight, and the sky varies between thick
    clouds and thin clouds, so I only popped out a few times to look
    at it for a moment. The next-to-last time I looked, I thought I
    saw Mars between the clouds, but it got bigger as the clouds
    moved away. It was the tiniest sliver left of the Moon before
    totality. Earlier it was a perfect textbook illustration of a lunar
    eclipse, with the Moon's "face" exactly upright and a nice big
    rounded bite out of the left side.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  10. #10
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    Pooh, it was cloudy all night here, but I probably needed the sleep.

  11. #11
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    Socked in with clouds here as well, I couldn't even tell we HAD a moon...

  12. #12
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    No wonder it felt so chilly. It got down to 18 degrees F in the
    Twin Cities this morning, tying the record low temperature for
    this date.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  13. #13
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