- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
Early Christmas treat: 2010’s total lunar eclipse
Question of the Day
LOS ANGELES (AP) - ‘Twill be nights before Christmas and high overhead, the moon will turn brown or maybe deep red. The Earth and the sun with celestial scripts will conspire to make a lunar eclipse.
Weather permitting, sky gazers in North and Central America and a tiny sliver of South America will boast the best seats to this year’s only total eclipse of the moon.
The eclipse will happen Monday night on the West Coast and during the wee hours Tuesday on the East Coast. Western Europe will only see the start of the spectacle while western Asia will catch the tail end.
The moon is normally illuminated by the sun. During a total lunar eclipse, the full moon passes through the shadow created by the Earth blocking the sun’s light. Some indirect sunlight will still manage to pierce through and give the moon a ghostly color.
Since the eclipse coincides with winter solstice, the moon will appear high in the sky _ a boon for skywatchers. With recent volcanic eruptions around the globe dumping tons of dust into the atmosphere, scientists predict the moon may appear darker than usual during the eclipse, glowing an eerie red or brown instead of the usual orange-yellow tinge.
North and Central America should be able to view the entire show, which is expected to last 3 1/2 hours if skies are clear. Total eclipse begins at 11:41 p.m. PST Monday or 2:41 a.m. EST Tuesday. The totality phase _ when the moon is entirely inside Earth’s shadow _ will last a little over an hour.
The Griffith Observatory perched on the south slope of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles will host an eclipse party Monday evening although rain is forecast. Telescopes will be set out on the lawn for the public and astronomers will give free lectures on the eclipse’s various stages.
If clouds or rain set in, the observatory plans to stream live video of the eclipse from the Internet. Among the various outfits that will show the eclipse live is NASA, which has a camera mounted at its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
“Our event will go on rain or shine,” said Griffith Observatory astronomer Anthony Cook.
Unlike solar eclipses which require protective glasses, lunar eclipses are safe to watch with the naked eye.
U.S. Naval Observatory spokesman Geoff Chester finds solar eclipses more exciting than the lunar counterpart. But solar eclipses tend to occur in remote parts of the world while lunar eclipses are usually visible from an entire hemisphere.
“If you get skunked by bad weather, all you have to do is wait a few years for the next one to come around,” Chester said.
There are two total lunar eclipses in 2011 _ in June and December. North America will miss the June show and witness only a part of next December eclipse.
AP Science Writer Malcolm Ritter in New York contributed to this report.
Griffith Observatory: http://www.griffithobservatory.org
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Inside the sport of hockey from a scout’s perspective
Classical music and the performing arts: news and reviews you can use.
For moms, dads, kids, tech heads, travelers, kitchen mavens and everyone else on your holiday gift list
White House pets gone wild!