Friday, June 25, 2010

Partial Lunar Eclipse for West Coast Observers -- that's me!

I'm looking forward to capturing photos of tomorrow morning's partial lunar eclipse. Since a partial lunar eclipse is expendable, meaning, not essential for me, I can use it to conduct an experiment.

I know there are plenty of software programs that will show where an astronomical object will be from one's location, but the reason I dabble in science and astronomy if the fun of making my own predictions.

I live in a valley with western slopes capable of obstructing tomorrow morning's moonset. Since this moon set is near the summer solstice, I'm going to use observations of where the sun sets to estimate the location of moonset. If I'm wrong, I won't capture the delightful partial eclipse on a picturesque ridgeline. I pictured the geometry of the eclipse in my head and then drew it.

Here is the geometry I imagine for sunset at my location:

Below is my estimate of the geometry at 4:40 tomorrow morning:

If I get pictures, I'll add them. I put this up quickly for the fun of posting my guess before the event occurs.


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