This morning I got up early to see a total lunar eclipse, and it was the best one I’ve ever seen. When I first heard about it last night, I was initially disappointed that I live in a part of the world where the moon would set in the middle of the eclipse. Here’s a map from NASA, showing where this morning’s eclipse was visible:
If you live in Australia or most of Asia, the entire eclipse was visible. As I said, I was initially disappointed that I could not see the whole thing, but then when I got up and watched it for half an hour, I realized that I was privileged to see the phenomenon of the moon completely disappearing.
If you see a total eclipse of the moon in the middle of the night in a dark location, you can still see the moon. It turns dark red. However, when I started watching the moon around 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time (from the Amtrak station in Buena Park, California), I saw the last part of the moon enter the shadow then as dawn broke, the dark moon became less and less visible, even though it was still above the horizon. At 6:33 a.m., the greatest eclipse, I could not even see the moon at all. I knew where it was in the sky, and it hadn’t set yet, but the sky had gotten so bright and the moon so dark that it completely disappeared. The reason I say it’s the best one I’ve ever seen is because in an eclipse, it’s fun to watch the moon become less and less visible. And this time, it went completely away.
It didn’t hurt that I was wearing my glasses which are slightly out of date, rather than my contact lenses which I usually wear. Then I got cold and went back to bed.