The last total lunar eclipse until 2014 will take place the morning of December 10th. That’s tomorrow in case you lost track of the date! For those of us in the Los Angeles area, about half of the eclipse will be visible before sunrise.
According to the Griffith Park observatory, “you will want a view toward an unobstructed horizon facing west-northwest.” While the eclipse will technically begin at 3:33 a.m. pacific standard time, it will become most dramatic starting “…at 4:45 a.m., when the moon touches the umbra, the well defined, dark, inner shadow of the earth.”
If you want to share your experience of this seldom seen phenomena with your friends, family and others around the world, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena is making it possible for you to do just that. Here’s how you can participate in the “I’m There: Lunar Eclipse 2011” event.
1. TEXT MESSAGE: Text IMTHERE to 67463 to share your eclipse viewing spot and comments with NASA/JPL, or enter your 10-digit cell phone number in the “Join the Conversation” box at http://1.usa.gov/sqf5op. (Available to users in the U.S., message and data rates may apply). To join the campaign, just text in with the zip code of your viewing location, and see it plotted on the map at http://1.usa.gov/sqf5op. Then, on Saturday morning, you’ll receive a reminder to go out and watch plus instructions on how to share your comments via text.
2. TWITTER: Eclipse watchers around the world can participate by including @NASA/JPL and #Eclipse in their tweets, then see their comments displayed in the Twitter stream at http://1.usa.gov/sqf5op. Don’t forget to tell NASA/JPL where you’re watching the eclipse!
3. FACEBOOK: Join JPL’s Total Lunar Eclipse event page on Facebook to share your experiences and upload lunar eclipse photos. After the eclipse, NASA/JPL will pick one lucky winner to have his or her photo featured on JPL’s Space Images website and available for download as an official NASA/JPL wallpaper.
4. ONLINE: Visit NASA/JPL’s Lunar Eclipse homepage throughout the weekend to find others who are watching in your area, view comments and updates, check the weather, and explore more resources, including eclipse timetables and related events.
Learn more about where and when to view the lunar eclipse from JPL astronomer Steve Edberg at http://blogs.jpl.nasa.gov/. Can’t see the eclipse from your area? Slooh, the online Space Camera, will broadcast a live feed of the total lunar eclipse from several locations, starting at 6:06 a.m. PST (9:06 a.m. EST). Watch here: http://events.slooh.com/.
For those wanting a live, in person community experience, join together with others for the Lunar Eclipse Viewing Event on the Griffith Park Observatory front lawn and sidewalks from 4:30-7:00 a.m. Click here to view a live video-stream of the eclipse.