Lunar Eclipse

Last night we got to see a total lunar eclipse; the first one in three years. Three years ago we were in Texas and saw the eclipse through LittleE’s Viewmaster binoculars. Not the best looking through little plastic lenses! There was quite good viewing despite intermittent clouds. (Cloud cover is omnipresent here on the coast of the North Sea. A few days ago we had several hours of bright sunshine and LittleN was quite put out about it. She told me that I should take the sun away because it was too bright outside!) LittleE got to say up late and watch the thing. He had his own little pair of binoculars and quite enjoyed himself. We did a little star and planet watching while waiting: the two o’clock position from the moon was Saturn, then over to Rigel and Betelgeuse in Orion, then the Big Dipper in Ursa Major, then back to the moon. The partial eclipse began at 10:30 our time (GMT+1) with the total beginning about 11:43. About ten minutes before total, the clouds rolled in, the sky turned to erwten soup and began to rain – typical Dutch weather drat it! Moon watching was over. August 28th 2007 is the next total lunar eclipse and if you live in California or New Zealand you can see it. LittleE likes to look at the stars. Sometime I’ll have to see if the binoculars that I have are powerful enough for a little star-splitting. Buying a scope here is almost a waste because it is normally so cloudy, and then during the summer it doesn’t get dark in the evening until after eleven with full darkness until way past midnight.

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