1996 Lunar Eclipse Observations
IDAHO (Linda Selvig)
As the sky got darker the moon changed to a yellow and the part of
moon in the shadow took on a light orange hue. During totality the moon
was a deep red on the southern hemisphere and lighter red on the northern
hemisphere with a small amount of yellow at the very northern limb.
ARIZONA (Renee Crawley)
My favorite part was when the light started showing again. We had a
wonderful effect of rays of light coming onto one side and moving to
the other as the eclipse was ending. It ended with these rays going
from one side of the moon to the other and bathing Saturn in light,
too. I've never seen anything like it.
VIRGINIA (Marilyn Wall)
And lo and behold though we had to play peek-a-boo with the clouds
we were able to see all the various stages as the moon drifted in and
out of the clouds. When the clouds opened the moon was as clear and
as beautiful as you could possibly hope for. And to hear their oohs
and ahs as the round shadow of the Earth passed over the moon...comments
like "the Earth really is round" amused me in a wonderful
way. Just after the total eclipse, enough of the sky was clear to reveal
a reddish moon. It was really awesome! And right below this was Saturn!
My students were so excited you would have thought they were the first
men landing on the moon.
And the oddest thing about our star party last night...the rest of
the Valley was pretty well socked in with cloudy overcast...the only
breaks seemed to come over our school parking lot. This morning the
local news reports were of an eclipse unseen! We were indeed the lucky
ones. Someone sure was taking care of us.
MASSACHUSETTS (Charlie Lindgren)
Eclipse classification saw 13 saying the eclipse was black or almost
invisible, 39 said it was gray, 104 said it was dark red, 82 said it
was bright red, and 34 said it was brilliant orange.
This was a huge success in my coastal town! Comments about what the
eclipse looked like, and what the ocean looked like during the various
stages of the eclipse were great. During my class discussions, our toughest
conclusion was deciding what the color was. Assorted comments on what
the color of totality resembled: a photograph of a retina (substitute
teacher); orange sherbert; a broken red marble.
NEVADA (Judy Gunderson)
We had a beautiful clear night to watch the eclipse, but the lights
of the city sure didn't help our star count. We watched the colors change
from brown to orange. Absolutely breathtaking!
WASHINGTON, D. C. (Susan Hurstcalderone)
Although not what we hoped for, a break in the skies did occur between
9:30 and 10:05. As the clouds moved in and out, there was just enough
time to see the partial phase of the eclipse, Saturn, and a few stars.
The students were in awe . . . In fact one commented that she didn't
"realize so much was going on above her head." . . . a student
came to me after class on Friday to say, "Thank you- we had a great
time and I can't wait until 2000. It better be clear!" All I can
say is "Ditto."
INDIANA (Margaretha Gebhart)
All twelve elementary schools in Muncie, Indiana, were prepared to
complete Star Counts and Record information on the color. The weather
did not cooperate. Muncie, Indiana was in the path of the rain and cloud
cover in the storm that passed over the midwest. For a brief moment
we saw the eclipse in black and white in between clouds. David Levy
joined us on the campus of Ball State University to observe the eclipse.
He called his fiancee during the eclispe. She had beautiful weather!
David Levy was the first speaker featured in the BSU Provost Lecture
Series this year. What a night to have David Levy speak!! The provost
invited selected area schools and college staff members to the dinner
prior to David's presentation.
GEORGIA (Charlotte Stevens)
We had our Astronomy Night at school and enjoyed seeing Jupiter and
its moons as well as views of the moon from time to time. We had seven
astronomers from the Atlanta Astronomy Club and about eight telescopes
ranging in size from six inches to 17.5. One of the men brought a computer
setup that he used to display CCD images. The 350 students and parents
were patient and enthusiastic despite the clouds. We just feel lucky
the rain held off for eight hours and we were able to meet. Needless
to say, our star count was 0! Glad to hear the Crawleys had wonderful
clear weather and that someone was able to count stars! I hope all of
your students enjoyed their evening as much as mine did!
MARYLAND (Mellie Lewis)
We had over fifty fourth and fifth grade students participate in our
Lunar Eclipse-Star Count Party last night. The students were outside
from seven until almost 9:30. Unfortunately, the cloud cover prevented
us from seeing anything. Parents stayed up to do the color cover, but
still, there was 100% cloud cover.We were glad to see that other schools
were able to see and do the count. We'll be using your data to do a
lat/long star count correlation.
WEST VIRGINIA (Cindy Bonfini-Hotlosz)
We did get to see a great bit of the eclipse flitting in and out of
the clouds. And my son (10) and daughter (3) had a great time sharing
your stories with moon-gazers from our area. Our lunar picnic was a
success, despite the clouds! As we headed back to our car, we spotted
a majestic stag gazing up at the clouds. In a small voice, my three-year-old
whispered, "Grandmother Moon must be pleased."
COLORADO (Janet and James Cook)
Our results in Denver, CO, 39.7 N and 105 W, were 0 stars with heavy
cloud cover becoming snow around 9:00. Needless to say, the kids didn't
want to go out and count. We did count with no moon (but parking lot
lights on) a week later when it was warmer and got counts ranging from
48-468. We plan to repeat with the next warm, full moon.
VERMONT (David White) -
Here's my star count - eclipse data: Barre, Vermont 72 degrees 30 minutes
West 44 degrees 15 minutes North. Clear Sky - Moderate Light Pollution.
Stars seen with FULL moon: 276 168 264 214 840 252 432. Stars seen during
TOTALITY OF LUNAR ECLIPSE 1164 456 660 636 1128 912 804.
TEXAS (Chris Rowan)
We had a very good turnout last night. Nearly 40 people showed up!
Most were my students, but many were parents or interested staff members.
We really had a great time. We observed Saturn and Jupiter through
a 10" reflecting telescope. I have asked my students to post their
thoughts and feelings about the event on this listserv. Hope you don't
mind. The responses will be sent as one message, so this listserv won't
be inundated with student messages.---
Stars Visible Before Eclipse
3/4 up 1/2 up 1/3 up total North 3.52 3.24 1.88 8.64 South 3.64 3.88
2.68 10.2 East 1.44 2.04 2.08 5.56 West 1.72 2.44 2.44 6.6 Totals 10.32
11.6 9.08 31 Grand total 372 Approximate Number of Stars Visible Stars
Visible During Eclipse
3/4 up 1/2 up 1/3 up total North 4.40 2.27 2.60 9.27 South 2.07 1.87
2.73 6.67 East 0.87 1.80 1.67 4.33 West 1.80 1.13 1.67 4.60 Totals 9.13
7.07 8.67 24.87 Grand total 298.40 Approximate Number of Stars Visible
GEORGIA (Rhonda Toon)
Just wanted you to know I'm jealous of all the eclipse activity! We
had to pick up a student visitor from Mexico City at airport so I couldn't
schedule an eclipse event. We watched parts of the event from the parking
lot of a restaurant that dishes up Southern food. In between sharing
our amazement of the natural wonder we were explaining things like blackeye
peas, red eye gravy, grits, and sweet tea.....(not necessarily served
all together). (-:
Dear discuss-lfm members, We are enjoying "tukimi" (Moon
gazing party). I show you "hoshi" in kanji character. Hoshi
is star in Japanese.
Wish on hoshi, dream come true.
Thank you everybody.
Our Port Angeles High School astronomy students hosted a star party
for the eclipse up here at the high school in Port Angeles. We had between
200 and 300 folks show up! They patiently waited in lines for our three
school telescopes - one looking at the moon, one at Jupiter and one
at Saturn. We are known for our rainy Septembers but there wasn't a
single cloud in the sky all night long. My students helped the elementary
and middle school kids do star counts while waiting once it got dark
enough. By 8:30 we were clear and dark enough to see most major constellations
and the Milky Way. Everyone had a great time and the community is really
turning on to astronomy.
FLORIDA (Mike Dean)
We had uninterrupted viewing of the entire event with the exception
of about 2 minutes of one cloud passing by. About 40% of my students
came out to the local planetarium (Astronaut's Memorial Planetarium
in Cocoa, Florida) to look through over thirty telescopes and many more
binoculars. Jupiter's four major moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto)
were all strung out like a string of precious pearls. Saturn's rings
and its beautiful deep orange-gold color were easliy seen. Comet Hale-Bopp
may or may not have been seen, as the faintness of the object and the
general uncertainty among the viewers left some debate about whether
or not what we saw was the comet. The whole event was received by the
families (parents) extremely well and did much to bring all the students,
families, and teachers closer together.
WASHINGTON (Jo Lynne Roberts)
The Pacific Northwest is well known (or is that infamous) for our clouds
and rain....but Mother Nature cooperated to give us the most awe inspiring
clear skies for the eclipse. In the Northwest we are fortunate to have
single majestic snow covered mountain peaks, and it was above this outlined
mountain that the moon was visible in all its glory. It was absolutely
Info compiled by Charles F. Lindgren
Webpage made by Daniel Munro and Noel Pacheco, seniors at Palo Alto High