The Seasonal Almanac: The January 2000 Total Lunar Eclipse

The Seasonal Almanac covers astronomical events and nature. Learn about the upcoming January 2000 total lunar eclipse, includes tips on viewing the eclipse and a detailed lunar chart.
By Fred Schaaf
December 1999/January 2000
Add to My MSN

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth comes directly between the sun and moon.
ILLUSTRATION: LUNAR CHART BY JANET JANIFER


Content Tools

Related Content

How to Eat Seasonally

These resources will help you learn how to eat seasonal foods in order to save grocery money.

Recycling at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

John Rockhold, managing editor of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, talks about the recycling effort of staff and v...

Submit Your Greenest Idea and Win!

Make the winning suggestion for the next X PRIZE and win $25,000.

A Beekeeper's Winter Activity: Eating Honey (With Honey Recipes)

What is a beekeeper to do during the long cold winter months? Eat honey of course.

The Seasonal Almanac shares astronomical and nature events, this issue includes information on the upcoming January 2000 total lunar eclipse. (See the lunar chart in the image gallery.)

A perfect night to set your eyes sky ward will be January 20, 2000. Many of you will need to bundle up before heading outside, but if your skies are clear, it will be worth braving the cold: You will be treated to the sight of the excellent upcoming January 2000 total lunar eclipse.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth comes directly between the sun and moon. When that happens, the moon passes completely into Earth's central shadow or umbra (the Earth's less dark, peripheral shadow that borders the umbra is called the "penumbra"). The interesting thing is that Earth's umbra is rarely completely dark and colorless. Usually, the red sunrise and sunset glows from all around the Earth at eclipse time are "refracted" (bent) around the Earth's solid body into the umbra, which therefore paints the moon predominately reddish during total eclipse.

This is the first total lunar eclipse for North America since 1996 and its longest since 1989. The accompanying diagram gives times and shows which parts of the moon will be covered at different stages. If you happen to be watching far from city lights, note how the few stars of this full-moon night kindle to a multitude by the time the moon is dimmed at total eclipse.

The farther east you are in North America, the later in the evening the eclipse occurs—but also the higher in the sky (almost overhead on the East Coast).








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.