Did you see that Awesome Lunar Eclipse
Hundreds of Bay Area folks - both stay-up-laters and early risers - watched a colorful total eclipse of the moon before dawn Tuesday as foggy skies cleared and the moon‚€™s bright white surface slowly turned to coppery red and brown.
The eclipse was on full display even in parts of San Francisco - along Market Street and in the Mission, for example - but fog over the Sunset and the outer Richmond disappointed anyone who had hoped to watch the event.
As scheduled, the Earth‚€™s shadow started covering the moon‚€™s face at 1:51 a.m. and the eclipse became total at 2:52 a.m. By 4:22 a.m., the moon emerged from the shadow, and by 5:24 a.m. the show was over.
Comments e-mailed to The Chronicle and SFGate.com, its online news site, came from everywhere - some anonymous and some not. This one from ‚€œLianna‚€Ě was typical: ‚€œThe Goddess of Fog granted a reprieve for those who crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to see the eclipse - Spectacular.‚€Ě
In Oakland, a crowd of more than 400 enthusiasts watched the event from the deck of the Chabot Space and Science Center, where astronomer Ben Burress explained the phenomenon, guided watchers with binoculars and telescopes, and also showed a simulated version in the center‚€™s Planetarium.
Many also joined Chabot astronomy instructor Celeste Burrows on a ‚€œmidnight eclipse hike‚€Ě along nearly 3 miles of trails from the center, winding through the Redwood Regional Park and Joaquin Miller Park.
‚€œThe whole night was exceptional,‚€Ě said Burress. ‚€œThe sky was brilliantly clear, and the red colors were brilliant, too, making the moon‚€™s disk appear three-dimensional. Folks brought their bedrolls and sleeping bags and spent the whole night - it was a real party!‚€Ě
Joanne Backman, a Chabot staff member, was just as excited. She joined the throngs who crowded the center‚€™s desk all night.
‚€œIt was amazing!‚€Ě she said. ‚€œThe moon put on the most spectacular performance possible, with colors that went from pinks to yellows to orange to every other warm shade.‚€Ě
And in San Francisco Daniel Kopyc, a software engineer, was out near the corner of Church and Market streets with his digital camera, and caught the full eclipse through the branches of palm trees and illuminated Muni railway signs.
‚€œI always like to look at the moon,‚€Ě Kopyc said, ‚€œand I kept telling folks who were passing by to look up.
‚€Ě ‚€˜Do you see what‚€™s happening,‚€™ I‚€™d say, and some of the people - I don‚€™t know what they were thinking - but they just didn‚€™t seem to want to bother. But a lot of others did look up, and they‚€™d say, ‚€˜Oh wow! Look at that! Hey that‚€™s cool, great!‚€™ ‚€Ě
Kopyc posted his images on the web at: http://www.themyspacer.com and said he would buy a better camera before the moon is eclipsed by the Earth‚€™s shadow again.
The next total lunar eclipse is due for West Coast viewing Feb. 20, at 7:01 a.m. Pacific time, according to NASA eclipse guru Fred Espenak.
Last edited by Mod 8; 09-04-2007 at 05:49 PM.