BLOG: Lunar Eclipse

GABE BARNARD

This Sunday, I witnessed a lunar eclipse for the first time in my life. I have probably seen one before, but this was the first one I will actually remember.

My family and I were relaxing in the basement of our house, enjoying the Broncos game, when I got a text from my friend telling me to go see the lunar eclipse because it was really interesting. My brother and I walked out onto our driveway but couldn’t see the eclipse, so I grabbed my mom’s camera and rode my bike up the hill by our house to the cul-de-sac where I was finally able to see the eclipse. At that time it had just started, so only about an eighth of the moon was in shadow.

By this point I was very intrigued by the phenomenon, so I rode my bike further up a path that led to the top of “high point” to get a better view of the eclipse without having to see in between houses. There was already a large group of people there watching, so I set my bike down and walked to the edge of the path to take more pictures. My first picture made the moon just look like a big blob of light instead of a lunar eclipse, so I adjusted the settings on my camera and, after a few unsuccessful attempts, I was able to get some clear pictures.

I had been gone for about 20 minutes before my dad texted me wondering where I was, so I rode back down the hill and met him at the cul-de-sac. We watched the eclipse for a couple minutes and I took some more pictures before we started walking back to the house. As we were heading home, my dad asked me if I knew how eclipses happened. We both had no clue so I looked it up to try to gain a basic understanding of the event that was happening in the sky that night.

Basically, lunar eclipses happen when the Moon, Earth and Sun align with the Earth in between the Sun and Moon. This casts the shadow of the Earth over the Moon as it orbits around our planet, creating the darkness that passes over it. The eclipse lasted for 72 minutes, or an hour and 12 minutes. Some areas of the world, including Europe, Africa and the Middle East witnessed a “Blood Moon”, which is when the Moon seems to turn a rust-like color as the eclipse occurs instead of turning completely black or invisible as the Earth’s shadow covers it. This is caused because as the Earth comes in between the Sun and Moon, rays of light from the Sun are bent around the planet through the atmosphere and are sometimes cast upon the moon, turning it to the red color some people witnessed.

My experience with the eclipse that night was really interesting to me and I enjoyed watching it. The next eclipse is supposed to occur in March of next year, and I will definitely be getting my camera ready to see it again.

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