Eclipse Project
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Eclipse Project

Looking at the moon

The best way to learn about eclipses of the moon is to go outside and look at one. Plus, it's a good excuse to stay up late at night! Mr. Eclipse is a website that will tell you when the next eclipse of the moon is where you live. (if you live in North America, there's one on Dec 21st 2010; it will start at 11:40 pm.)

Just go outside (put a jacket on!) about ten minutes before the eclipse and look up at the sky. A pair of binoculars is nice but you can see an eclipse of the moon just fine, even in a city, with just your eyes. It's perfectly safe to look at the moon during an eclipse, just like any other time. You don't need special glasses. The eclipse will last a little over an hour.

One cool thing about an eclipse of the moon is that you can see for yourself that the Earth is round like a ball. As the eclipse gets going, you can see that the shadow of the Earth on the moon is curved - that's because the Earth itself is curved.

Eclipse of the Sun
Astronomy - when did people first figure out what an eclipse was?
More about the Earth
More about eclipses

Bibliography and further reading about planets:

Mercury
Planets
Physics
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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