Saturday, February 16, 2008

Moon and Planets (Eclipse)

The moon was nearby Mars last night. Not so close as to send me running for my camera, but close enough that I could have told someone how to find Mars by looking near the moon. Tonight the Moon will be about seven degrees East of Mars.

Last Tuesday evening, Sandra and I were hanging out on the beach at the Plaza, enjoying the bargain barbeque and the music of the Silver Bullet Steel Band, when I saw an amazing low, slow, bright, lime greenish meteor. My first impression on catching sight of it out of the corner of my eye was that it was terrestial in origin, like a flare or a firework, but after observing it for a couple seconds, I concluded that it was really a meteor. There is no question that if one spends enough time outside on Bonaire; whether under the night sky, or wandering around Washington Park, or in the water; amazing things will happen from time to time.

One amazing thing that is predictible is this coming Wednesday's total Lunar eclipse. The good part starts at about 9:43 pm Bonaire time. Totality starts around 11 pm and lasts until about 11:52 pm. If you live on the East Coast of North America, subtract an hour from those times. If you're on the West Coast, subtract four hours. (Totality begins at 03:00 UTC on Thursday, for those of you in other time zones)

I sure hope the sky is clear Wednesday night. You never know this time of the year. Last March we had fun hanging out near Sorobon and watching the Milky Way come into view as the Moon dimmed to a red glow. I'd like to do something like that again this year.

Oh yes, that picture of the Silver Bullet Steel Band is from a slide I took a long loonnng time ago!

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