Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Back to the Aerie

I left the Bolt Hole yesterday around noon and drove back to the Aerie amidst several snow squalls that marked the edge of a massive cold air mass sweeping in from the west.

After a crystal clear night during which a near full moon shone brightly, we have a low temperature this morning of just 7.5 degrees F at 7 AM. Checking the weather underground station nearest the Bolt Hole, it was about two or three degrees colder at the cabin.

Tonight's total eclipse of the moon should be a spectacular sight if the clouds permit. The current forecast is for patchy clouds with a 20% chance of some snow flurries between 9 PM and 3 AM.

If you've never taken the time to watch a Lunar eclipse, do so. It's a long drawn out affair as the Moon passes into the shadow cast by the Earth and then emerges again. because of the bending of the Sun's rays as they pass around the Earth, the Moon will never go totally dark but it will change color becoming quite red. (Red light, having longer wave lengths, is bent more as it passes through the Earth's atmosphere.) The view is well worth the time.

The shape of the Earth's shadow cast upon the Moon is one of the pieces of evidence that allowed early man to realize that we live on a sphere--something that was well known before Columbus ever set sail, despite what some "history books" try and tell us.

1 comment:

Erica said...

I was completely captivated by the moon last night, and watched it the whole way home....cannot WAIT for the eclipse! Mark my words, I will definitely be watching.