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Sunday, December 19, 2010


Tomorrow night from 7:29 a lunar eclipse will begin in Hawaii.  The sky will hopefully clear of clouds by then.  Our Moon will be in total eclipse at 9:42 and should look RED.  Interestingly enough, the timing is such that people on most of the mainland will need to watch after midnight (peak in Los Angeles will be 11:42PM and New York City at 2:42PM.)  This is the first time in 500 or so years that a lunar eclipse happened on the day of the Winter Solstice, the first day of winter, and will not occur again for almost another century.  Further, we in Hawaii could not have be any luckier with respect to time of night, as much of the world will be in daylight when the eclipse occurs:

But, in case it continues raining tomorrow night, watch a You Tube clip of the previous total lunar eclipse on 28August2007, with Moonlight Sonata playing in the background.   ...and another about the moon turning to blood in 2015 to signal the second coming of Jesus.

There is a full moon every 28 days, so there are years when there are 13 full moons.  Traditionally, during a quarter of four full moons, the third full moon is called a Blue Moon.  Obviously, this has nothing to do with the color of the moon.  There was a blue moon a month ago, and the next one will occur on 21August2013.   Another definition of a blue moon is the second full moon of the month, shown here on 31December2009 in an eight minute You Tube clip.  Click only if you have nothing else to do with your life.

Then there was The Moon is Blue, a film starring William Holden (with Maggie McNamara) and David Niven.  This one too had nothing to do with a real blue moon.  See/hear Billy Holiday with her version of Blue Moon, and here are the Marcels.

But there are blue colored moons, usually caused by haze or a volcanic eruption.  Most forest fires actually turn the moon red.  The color depends on the size of the particulate in the atmosphere.  Our Moon turns red tomorrow night because the shadow of our Earth blocks the light from the Sun and only red light is capable of bending around our planet.


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