Lunar eclipse august
Lunar Eclipse

Tonight, across most of the United States, star-gazers will be able to see the a rare lunar eclipse. This will be the second lunar eclipse of the summer and a series of 5 eclipses this year. I wonder if that is a lot or not? It seems like it to me. You can see the path of the eclipse here.

So, what exactly is a lunar eclipse as opposed to a solar eclipse, etc.? A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes behind the Earth blocking the suns rays. The earth, moon and sun have to be aligned very closely so that the earth is in the middle, thus causing the effect.

Astrologers have traditionally thought ill of the lunar eclipse. Since the lunar cycles supposedly impact our emotions and thought processes, any disruption to that cycle is thought to be bad. They are a bad omen and (it’s thought) tends to lead to domestic strife, especially amongst women (I’m not making this up, I swear).

I believe that just about anyone in the United States who is east of the Rocky Mountains will be able to enjoy this somewhat rare occasion. I plan on taking my kids outside to have a glimpse if possible. I always enjoy teaching the kids something about science, especially if they might just sit down and shut up for 10 seconds. Did I say that out loud? In any event, enjoy the lunar eclipse and may it not portend your doom!

Lunar orbit
Lunar Orbit