Staying up to the wee hours of the morning of April 15th to watch the lunar eclipse was SO worth it!! The time span of the complete eclipse was from April 14 at 9:55 pm through til April 15 at 3:36am.
We had a quality pair of binoculars through which we could see every nook and cranny of the moon’s surface as well as the color change from glowing white to a warm orange-umber-red color. Managed to take some really nice photos with hubby’s good camera. It has great detail but didn’t capture the warm hues but that’s ok. One of the neatest things was watching the chromatic aberration through the binoculars. As the shadow grew the top of the moon was a bright yellow rim and the bottom was a royal blue rim. The deeper the shadow the right rim side turned green. At one point the colors yellow and blue switched places. Even though was just a color distortion it was really pretty. 😉
A couple fun sources to share with you for the next eclipse which will be October 7th, 2014.
www.slooh.com puts on a live show following celestial events from a few locations around the world – Prescott, AZ, Canary Islands, Japan, Hawaii, Cyprus, Dubai and more. They are a community observatory with very entertaining and informative coverage. They lyrid meteor shower is in 4 days their website says ! We’ll be tuning in!
After searching for some interesting worksheets or video to share with the kids this one of the BEST videos I found!! Check this excellent video from NASA explaning the differences between solar and lunar eclipses.
The other fun app that we love and used is GoSkyWatch Planetarium (free).
You just have to launch it, point at the sky and it will tell you exactly what planets, constellations, and stars you are looking at. It is so very cool !! On the night of the eclipse Mars was at it’s brightest and there it was just a little bit above and to the left of the moon. With the app, took 2 seconds to figure that out. Love technology!! This one looks really incredible too – Sky Guide. ($1.99) Another free one is SkyView – Explore the Universe.
Grab a blanket and a lawn chair and enjoy our night skies!