Sit outside tonight

Posted by: Girlie

Sit outside tonight - 10/28/04 02:26 AM

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Earthlings are about to be treated to a total lunar eclipse, just in time for Halloween. For more than an hour Wednesday night, the moon will be covered entirely by Earth's shadow and resemble a glowing pumpkin.

With the Earth passing directly between the sun and the moon, the only light hitting the full moon will be from the home planet's sunrises and sunsets, thus the orange and red hue.

It will be a late-night show for people in North and South America and a pre-dawn display early Thursday for those in Europe and western Africa.

Aside from their entertainment value, total lunar eclipses give scientists a chance to assess the quality of Earth's atmosphere. Ash from volcanic eruptions, for example, can make an eclipsed moon look much darker. The recent eruptions of Mount St. Helens in Washington have consisted of far more steam than ash, and therefore the moon should appear bright and coppery red on Wednesday night, NASA said.

The next total eclipse of the moon will not be until March 2007.

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According to Spaceweather.com it should be visable around 9:14 EDT