Thursday, June 24, 2010

Werewolf Weekend

jet flies across a partial lunar eclipse
Kiwis have a chance to see a partial lunar eclipse at the end of this week.
A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes behind the earth and the earth gets in the way, blocking the sun’s rays from striking the moon. This occurs only when the sun, earth and moon are aligned with the Earth in the middle. Hence, there's always a full moon on the night of a lunar eclipse.
There are many myths, superstitions and rituals associated with eclipses: check out a few here...
This Saturday night, 26th.June between 10.30pm and 12.30am, up to 50% of the Moon may be covered by the Earth’s shadow. Mid-eclipse is officially timed for 11.38pm – that’s the point when the effect will be the most obvious. Weather permitting, it’ll be visible throughout NZ - unlike the last (total) lunar eclipse on December 31 which was not visible here, and the next (total) one on December 21, when only the northern part of New Zealand will see it. This weekend's one will also be visible from Australia and eastern Asia, and before sunrise setting over western North and South America.
But NZ's view all hinges on the winter weather which of late has not been exactly conducive to lunar observations... or much else, for that matter!

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