I really am. I love to look up at the stars and figure out which constellation is which; I love to find the planets in the night sky; and I love eclipses. They’re just too cool. Here in the northern part of the U.S., we don’t get too many decent solar eclipses…in fact, I’ve known of none that we can actually see well this high up. That doesn’t mean that there haven’t been any, I just don’t know of any. When we lived in Texas, however (in El Paso specifically…Mr Izz used to be in the Army, so we lived for a time in the very un-blissful Ft. Bliss), there was a spectacular solar eclipse. We made a Pinhole Camera so we could view it safely…you could see a little tiny eclipse at the back of the box for it was shining through the pinhole. It was so easy, and so worth it. Our range was 60%, so when the sun was covered, everything was darkened to where it looked almost like dusk. It was eerie to say the least. But it was cool. We only had 2 kids back then…unfortunately they were too young to remember.

Lunar eclipses are far more abundant, and quite often can be seen very well in the northern part of the U.S. This is what we were able to see very early this morning. Not all of the children were up, for only 2 of them were brave enough to face the 05:00 wake up call and actually watch. We’ve seen other lunar eclipses, but this was was great. The moon was full, the sky was totally clear, and we had a virtually clear area to observe, unobstructed by trees or houses…for a while anyway. It took a while, but we were finally able to see the moon fully covered by around 06:00 or so (I didn’t look at the clock, but lunar eclipses take far longer than solar). While it didn’t have the Corona of a solar eclipse, you could definitely see a subtle glow around the area of the moon. The only bad thing was that as soon as it was covered, the sun was about to peek over the horizon, so the visibility diminished greatly and we weren’t able to see when the moon peeped back out from under the earth’s shadow again. Also, while most of the observing time was unobstructed, but the time of full coverage, the house across the road was getting in the way. Oh well…at least we got to see it while it was under the earth’s shadow! It was very cool…and a good lesson in astronomy for the 2 that were watching. I’m thinking it would be great fun to simulate both a lunar and a solar eclipse for science this year. The kids would really enjoy pretending to be the sun, the earth, and the moon.

That was how my morning began, and what a beginning it was! It was worth the early wake up call to watch, for it was probably the best lunar eclipse I’ve ever seen. And the kids were excited too, which of course makes it all the more exciting for me…kind of like how Christmas is far more exciting when you see how excited your children are.

Off to finish up with breakfast…yes, we are running late today. The only drawback of being up too early and then going back to bed for a “few minutes”. šŸ˜‰

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