Maryland Outdoor Club
Wed, Feb 20 2008 - Watch the Moon Disappear (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Kevin Yue
Participants:Kevin Yue, Saki Saki, Norma Broadwater, Rachel Evans, CHarlotte Mayberry, Shirley McCoy, Janine Yieh, Heidi White, David Suskin, Sandra Stabler, Kim, John Meagher, Eileen Barry, Stacy Murphy, Adam Marshand, Stephanie, KC Yi, Joe John, Tom Reichelderfer, Christine Larsen, maureen maier, Cynthia Hildenbrand, Puyao Li

Write Up:
I have the power to hide the moon! At least, so says one attendee who was mesmerized by the shadow of the earth gliding silently across the light of the moon! But more on that later...

About 15 of us met for dinner at La Tasca in Inner Harbor to have some most excellent tapas! Though the event was scheduled for 8 PM, the skies were not cooperating. I actually received a phone call from the Maryland Science Center (MSC) Observatory saying the event was delayed due to the weather! Well, that just set me off! I had a long discussion with Mother Nature and we came to an agreement that this is a once in a lifetime event and she just had to part the clouds. So...she did! I told you I had the power!

A second group of MOC'ers met in the Key Highway Lobby of the MSC and we met with Doug, who works in the Observatory, and he told us all about the Alvan Clark and Sons telescope they have there.

At 8:45, the show began. Getting all bundled up, we headed up to the 4th floor of the MSC where we also met with the first group of MOCers around 9 PM (after stuffing themselves with more tapas!) to see the Sun's reflected light off the moon being hidden by the Earth's shadow. Actually, they were there to see my super powers hiding the moon!

Amazingly, the sky cleared up and we were treated to a wondrous view of the sky and the Baltimore skyline. Over the next few hours, the Observatory staff helped us take in the night sky, seeing the moon closeup. We also had an awesome experience seeing Saturn with its rings, being close to the moon in the sky. There were three telescopes in use: the Clark and Sons, and 2 Celestron 8" reflector telescopes. Everyone had a chance to look through all three and even WJZ 13 was on hand to film the eclipse!

The eclipse entered totality around 10:01 and the event kept going and going until about 10:26, when it was extremely darkened by the shadow of the earth! The reddish glow of the moon caused by the atmospheric conditions was beautiful to watch, and when the moon began to reappear (I decided that it was time to give back to the community) and by 11 PM, the moon had reappeared. By midnight, there wasn't even a sign that the eclipse happened!

Though the evening was cold, we were able to share in the marvel of the universe right in our backyard! A lunar eclipse of this magnitude is not expected to occur again for another millennium. Even though another full lunar eclipse will occur in 2010, it is not expected to be as brilliant as the one we saw.

For more details on lunar eclipses, go to this URL:

http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/LEmono/TLE2008Feb21/TLE2008Feb21.html

- Kevin



Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Amy Lipsius at mdoutdoorclub@gmail.com. Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.