Monday, January 4, 2010

Blue Moon Eclipse

I talked to my mom a while ago, and since I wasn't able to celebrate new year with them, she told me what happened on New Years Eve. As usual, I missed the feast and the fun they had. She mentioned how beautiful the moon was... Its seldom to have full moon on new years eve. Then I read an amazing article about it with a photo of a beautiful moon, yet mysterious as ever.

It is said to be Blue Moon and a partial lunar eclipse, as the second Full Moon of December grazed the Earth's shadow on December 31st. The New Year's Eve Blue Moon eclipse was visible throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and parts of Alaska. Playing across the Moon's southern reaches, the edge of Earth's umbra, or dark central shadow, appears on the right side along with the prominent ray crater Tycho. At maximum eclipse, the umbra covered only about 8 percent of the diameter of the lunar disk.

The moon was so beautiful that it catches all the attention. And because it looks peculiar as well as amazing, it doesn't look like a usual full moon. But here is an explanation: It was the first Full Moon in December. Shining on celebrations of New Year's Eve, last night's Full Moon was the second Full Moon of December and so fits the modern definition of a Blue Moon - the second Full Moon in a month. Because the lunar cycle, Full Moon to Full Moon, spans 29.5 days, Blue Moons tend to occur in some month about every 2.5 years. Shining in the glare just above and right of December's first Full Moon is the Pleiades star cluster.

I never saw the moon last Dec. 31, and it really made me feel regretful because I never got to take photo of it.

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