Tomorrow, 20th February 2008, brings in the first lunar eclipse of the year.

lunar_eclipse_total.gif

A lunar ecliplse, unlike a solar eclipse is visible from more than half the earth’s surface. This particular eclipse is located very favorably to the western hemisphere.  For sky watchers in the Pacific Standard Time zone, the totality phase of this eclipse begins around 7 pm, and ends few minutes before 8 pm.

You will not see this eclipse if you live in India, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, most parts of China or in Siberia.

Unlucklily for me, the weather is not really co-operating where I live. Tomorrow’s prediction calls for rain (and that means cloudy sky even if there is no rain😦 )  So I may not be lucky enough  to see tomorrow’s eclipse after all.

But I am really disappointed for my son. After showing a few things in the sky,  this ‘sky bug’ has caught on  him too.  I had mentioned about this coming eclipse and he was really looking forward to see this event. Probably this could have been the first eclipse that he would remember into his adulthood. I still remember seeing those eclipses when I was his age, and I can feel his excitement. Alas, I don’t know if he gets to see this at all. Mercy Oh Weather Gods!

Did you say lunar eclipses are not so rare? Yes, true. But I have to wait for almost two years to see a total eclipse (Dec 21st, 2010)  similar to tomorrow’s eclipse from my location.  And guess what? The weather here in December won’t be any prettier either! So next realistic possibility for me to watch a total lunar eclipse with my son is on April 14th, 2014. By that time,  I am sure my son would not remain the dreamy eyed little lad that he is today.

Oh well, that is a bit too far out to think about. But I can always hope that the god Varuna is pleased, and takes his clouds away to give us a clear view of the eastern sky tomorrow evening!

Anyway,  if the skys are clear where you live, don’t forget to peep outside to see the eclipse!

-neelanjana