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Lunar Eclipse This Sunday night (1/20)
by Aaron Turner - Wednesday, 16 January 2019, 7:53 PM
 

This Sunday night, starting at the late hour of 10:30, a total lunar eclipse begins, easily visible from Connecticut.  The eclipse will reach totality near midnight, and end around 2am on Monday morning.  Originally, this looked like a very promising event, with Monday a holiday for some folks.  However, we are now looking at a forecast that says we'll have 9-15 inches of snow on the ground by Sunday evening, with temperatures falling below 0F that night.  It could be clear out, with the storm clearing out, but deadly cold.  We will hope for a big change in the weather between now and then.

The moon is indeed at perigee during this eclipse, so the press description of this event as the "Super Bloody Hunter Moon" or some such nonsense is technically correct.  What is not so correct is the claim that lunar eclipses are very rare - I read somewhere that they only happen every 2 years.  They are not rare at all - we had two total lunar eclipses last year, there will be another partial eclipse this July, two in 2021 and two more in 2022.  It is true that only one of the 2021 and one of the 2022 eclipses will be visible from Connecticut, and only near the start of the eclipses, with the next "excellent" eclipse happening in 2025.  But the events themselves are not rare, nor even rare to see from Connecticut - we're just in a bad spell.  

At any rate, if you get a chance to see at least a few moments of this event, before your eyeballs freeze, it will be worth it.

See you all at our next class!