March 13, 2006
Eclipses Are Coming
March is the month for eclipses in 2006, and two are coming soon.
Tomorrow night, March 14, there will be a penumbral lunar eclipse at moonrise, visible from the east coast to the midwest (the eclipse will be over before moonrise on the west coast). The effect will be very subtle, as the full moon will only be partially shaded by earth's penumbra. Look for the full moon to be slightly less vibrant than normal.
On March 29, a spectacular total solar eclipse will be visible across much of the Earth, although unfortunately not from North America. The moon's shadow will first hit Brazil, then move across the Atlantic into West Africa (Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria). The shadow will then cross the Sahara, pass through northern Egypt into the Mediterranean, and then move across Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia, and finally Mongolia.
At ExploreLearning, we have also gotten into the eclipse spirit with two new eclipse-related Gizmos. To learn how eclipses happen and why they are so rare, check out 3D Eclipse. The Penumbra Effect Gizmo demonstrates how a partial shadow, or penumbra, is formed.
Happy eclipse hunting!