View Full Version : Q: This Past Lunar Eclipse

11-12-2003, 02:38 PM
I was observing this past weekend's lunar eclipse from Northern VA - just west of DC. While awaiting totality, I noticed that the SW piece of the lunar limb never appeared to darken. I wonder if any other SDopers also happened to have noticed this, and what the explanation for this may be? - Jinx

11-12-2003, 02:54 PM
I noticed that the bottom edge stayed light, as well. The reason is that the moon just barely passed through the southern half of the Earth's umbra. The "bottom" of the moon was very close to being out of the shadow.

In other words, the total eclpse was very close to not being total at all.

Here's a good diagram that shows the relative relation of the moon to Earth's shadow: http://www.space.com/images/031010_lunar_eclipse_02.jpg