Dec
22
2010

  I Saw Some of the Eclipse

I wasn't going to watch the eclipse until T suggested that we watch it together. However, I decided I'd just stay up until it started, but he preferred to sleep for an hour or so first. I woke him up when the moon was about 70% through the penumbra, and he got up to see but then said it looked like it was a long way from the eclipse time. But it wasn't, really, it was only about 20 minutes until the full eclipse. When it was just 10 minutes from the full eclipse (I think 2:43 am) I woke him up again and told him he had 10 minutes and I wasn't going to wake him up again since I was going to watch from outside. You could see it from the house if you stood in the bathtub and put your head on the wall and looked straight up through the window, but I didn't find that very comfortable so I just threw on the fur and braved the cold seated comfortably on a lawn chair.

My favorite part was just before the eclipse-- when there was just a sliver of white moon left, the part of the moon immediately to the left of that started changing colors, all kinds of reds and pinks like it was reflecting a sunset. Then the moon went completely black for a short time, then reappeared again, but grayish instead of with colors or the usual white. But this is when things turned a little disappointing-- the clouds started to obscure my view. At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me because it seemed as if the moon was changing shape, that its edges were coming and going, and at first I thought it was some weird eclipse visual effect. But then I realized it was just clouds passing in front of the moon. But I couldn't really see the clouds because the eclipse made the sky so dark. I stayed out there watching for a while longer, but the clouds didn't look like they were going to dissipate anytime soon, so I went back inside. Were the sky clear, I would have stayed up to watch the colors when the moon was right on the edge of coming out of the eclipse. But the clouds combined with the extreme cold made me think it prudent to come inside. I wasn't really cold while I was out there (the fur is very warm, even in 20F temperatures), but I didn't want to press my luck lest I doze off and wind up freezing overnight in my sleep or something. That would be a very dumb way to go.

But I will definitely try to watch more eclipses in the future, if they will be visible from here. If the sky is clear, we have a very good location for stargazing. But there's not much one can do about the clouds, they are either in the way, or they are not. Overall, I'm glad I did stay up to see what little bit I could see, it was unlike any other sky event I've seen before.