Tuesday, August 28, 2007


We had a great view of the lunar eclipse from Denver this morning.

It was raining
around eleven when I walked home from work, thinking I might miss it. But the night turned out cool and clear a few hours later, just in time for the show. I even woke up without an alarm. I got out my camera and snapped a few pictures.

After totality there wasn't much to do but wait for the moon to reemerge, so I opened Photoshop and started playing. Thinking
earth might look even more bazaar than the moon during a total eclipse I imagined this series of pictures.

Ambient light during such an event is the name of the game. The earth is much larger than the moon, and so will completely obscure the sun. I think the solar corona would also be blotted out if one were dead center of the shadow, but I'm not sure.

I think the most interesting feature would be a bright ring caused by the bending of sunlight through our thick, movable feast of an atmosphere, into the shadow zone. Unlike the rough, airless horizon of the moon the atmospheric ring around earth would be like a smooth reddish halo.

During such an eclipse one could observe
every sunrise and every sunset on our tiny little planet, simultaneously.

I think the stars and city lights might still be visible, depending on the relative brightness of the ring.
And the background stars might be very bright as well, or not. I've never been shot into space, so I don't know.

I modeled this fake picture, minus the rings, after this amazing photograph
taken by our collective robot, the Cassini space probe, in the shadow of Saturn.

As the sun reemerges, a 'diamond ring,' similar to that seen during a solar eclipse on Earth, would appear.

The solar corona would rise first...

...followed by the ultra-bright disk of the Sun.

1 comment:

Matt said...

simply beautiful - and thought provoking.