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January 31, 2018

Comments

Peter Garrison

Thanks, Joe!

Becca

Pictures absolutely gorgeous. I had the same observation when I checked about 6am, how darn noisy it was at that time of day.

Sally Meakin

Thank you, Joe.

Joe

OK, Kids, here is your wake-up call for tonight:

The longest partial lunar eclipse of THE CENTURY will get underway late Thursday night for the Bay Area and will stick around well into the wee hours of Friday morning.

The near-total eclipse, in which the FULL MOON will fit almost fully into the Earth’s shadow and create a dramatic visual effect, is expected to arrive at 11:19 p.m. PST and will last for 3 hours, 28 minutes and 23 seconds, making it the longest lunar eclipse of the century, according to statistics compiled by NASA. The longest total eclipse this century occurred on July 27, 2018, and lasted 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds.
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It is the longest eclipse because it occurs at the lunar apogee when the moon is furthest from earth and thus traversing "slower". The next long one this century will be after we are all gone (2069!). Tonight is called the Beaver Moon because the Indians set their beaver traps in November.
Let's hope the clouds don't blow it for us!

I'll be up.

Peter Garrison

And, interesting coincidental factoid; the word “apogee” comes from the Indian word for “slow beaver.”

Joe

You had to be patient tonight to view the lunar eclipse given the cloud cover we had in B'game. A Havana cigar and a nice glass of Scotch helped. From the start to about 12:15 was sort of a peepshow as the cloud breaks offered short, quick, bright views. Then it was looking like a bust until 1 AM when a nice procession of cloud breaks allowed for good, albeit short, views of the Blood Moon tucked right underneath Pleiades. For reference:

The Pleiades are the seven daughters of the Titan god Atlas and the ocean nymph Pleione. During an ancient war, Atlas rebelled against Zeus, the king of the gods, who sentenced his foe to forever hold up the heavens on his shoulders. The sisters were so sad that Zeus allowed them a place in the sky in order to be close to their father.

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