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.

For more details about the coming eclipses, try the NASA
Eclipse Home Page
. You can also watch a live webcast on the
Exploratorium website

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
. The Penumbra
Effect Gizmo
demonstrates how a partial shadow, or penumbra, is formed.

Happy eclipse hunting!