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Here & There Shaona Sen | MYND BLOC "Building Blocks for Creative Minds" | A digital zine of findings and musings (The other one: withshaona.tumblr.com)
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December 21st, 2010: Total Lunar Eclipse

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind the earth so that the earth blocks the sun’s rays from striking the moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, there is always a full moon the night of a lunar eclipse.”

The last lunar eclipse of 2010 is especially well placed for observers throughout North America. The eclipse occurs at the Moon’s descending node in eastern Taurus, four days before perigee.

The Moon’s orbital trajectory takes it through the northern half of Earth’s umbral shadow. Although the eclipse is not central, the total phase still lasts 72 minutes. The Moon’s path through Earth’s shadows as well as a map illustrating worldwide visibility of the event are shown in Figure 4. The timings of the major eclipse phases are listed below.

Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 05:29:17 UT
Partial Eclipse Begins: 06:32:37 UT
Total Eclipse Begins: 07:40:47 UT
Greatest Eclipse: 08:16:57 UT
Total Eclipse Ends: 08:53:08 UT
Partial Eclipse Ends: 10:01:20 UT
Penumbral Eclipse Ends: 11:04:31 UT

At the instant of greatest eclipse (08:17 UT) the Moon lies near the zenith for observers in southern California and Baja Mexico. At this time, the umbral magnitude peaks at 1.2561 as the Moon’s southern limb passes 2.8 arc-minutes north of the shadow’s central axis. In contrast, the Moon’s northern limb lies 8.1 arc-minutes from the northern edge of the umbra and 34.6 arc-minutes from the shadow center. Thus, the southern half of the Moon will appear much darker than the northern half because it lies deeper in the umbra. Since the Moon samples a large range of umbral depths during totality, its appearance will change dramatically with time. It is not possible to predict the exact brightness distribution in the umbra, so observers are encouraged to estimate the Danjon value at different times during totality (see Danjon Scale of Lunar Eclipse Brightness). Note that it may also be necessary to assign different Danjon values to different portions of the Moon (i.e., north vs. south).

During totality, the winter constellations are well placed for viewing so a number of bright stars can be used for magnitude comparisons. Pollux (mv = +1.16) is 25° east of the eclipsed Moon, while Betelgeuse (mv = +0.45) is 16° to the south, Aldebaran (mv = +0.87) is 20° to the west, and Capella (mv = +0.08) is 24° to the north.

The entire event is visible from North America and western South America. Observers along South America’s east coast miss the late stages of the eclipse because they occur after moonset. Likewise much of Europe and Africa experience moonset while the eclipse is in progress. Only northern Scandinavians can catch the entire event from Europe. For observers in eastern Asia the Moon rises in eclipse. None of the eclipse is visible from south and east Africa, the Middle East or South Asia.

Table 6 lists predicted umbral immersion and emersion times for 20 well-defined lunar craters. The timing of craters is useful in determining the atmospheric enlargement of Earth’s shadow (see Crater Timings During Lunar Eclipses).

The December 21 total lunar eclipse belongs to Saros 125 a series of 72 eclipses in the following sequence: 17 penumbral, 13 partial, 26 total, 9 partial, and 7 penumbral lunar eclipses (Espenak and Meeus, 2009). 

History of total lunar eclipses:

Longest Total Lunar Eclipse:
1812 Aug 22 Duration = 01h40m23s
 

Shortest Total Lunar Eclipse:
2155 Mar 19 Duration = 00h35m29s
 

Longest Partial Lunar Eclipse:
2173 Mar 29 Duration = 03h19m51s

Shortest Partial Lunar Eclipse:
1470 Jan 17 Duration = 00h11m52s

Longest Penumbral Lunar Eclipse:
2335 Jul 07 Duration = 04h23m50s

Shortest Penumbral Lunar Eclipse:
2443 Sep 09 Duration = 00h51m40s

(via NASA)

On Oct. 21st, 2010, I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the Moon Ball event hosted by Shift Boston at Cyclorama (The venue was spot on for this event).
Shift Boston is an organization whose mission is “to promote the future of the urban environment”. Three verbs used to describe themselves: GATHER. INSPIRE. IMPLEMENT.
"We are here to catalyze change."
The Moon Ball event was in celebration of the Moon Capital International Competition in which these questions were posed: “What if we were to occupy the moon by 2069? Might the Moon become an independent, self-sustaining and sovereign state?” . Participants were asked to develop lunar concepts on Moon habitat spaces.
A series of speakers shared ideas, theories and experiences about space architecture/travel before the winner of the Moon competition was announced. Two speakers who distinctly stood out to me were Constance Adams and Jeff Hoffman.
Constance Adams, who was a member of the design competition jury and whose roots stem in architecture, shared her personal insight on the presence of earth within space. And how we, as humans, are part of the earth. We are the moving, mobile earth. If we touch down on another planet, we are Earth.
Named as “Emerging Explorer” by Nat Geo, Adams also shared the fact that humans are the only animals that use physical tools and how this has led to our advancement.
Tool (as defined by dictionary.com): Anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose.
The creating then innovating of physical tools for efficiency, well being and entertainment has brought us to the current state of being on Earth.

Hearing Jeff Hoffman (IMG above) of NASA speak live was mind blowing. Firstly, Hoffman has been to space 5 times!!! His last being in 1996. Amazing. Secondly, he has floated in space, outside of the shuttle, as he stated, “600 miles from Earth, in between the Earth and Heaven”… Wow… Hoffman first began with how spiritually touching his trips have been. The adrenaline rush of transitioning in gravity. The discipline and curiousity necessary to be in touch with an unexplored environment.
By far the most interesting point addressed that whole evening was by Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman brought up the point of what if the handicapped and elderly being the first to inhabit the Moon. The thought of disabled people not having to worry as much about their conditions put a smile on my face. Hoffman mentioned how once occupying Las Vegas, Nevada was out of the question because of climatic changes. And now look at the area? He said if citizens’ pension plans instead financially contributed to Moon living, in its research or living stages, how big of a step that could possibly be.
Some random facts Hoffman mentioned:
- It takes approximately 8.5 minutes to reach space when launching from the States. (Imagine looking down and seeing Africa in a matter of minutes.)
- A space suit weighs about 300 pounds. (Gravity less space in itself could sustainably change inhabitants.)
- Weight transition when returning to Earth is toughest. (The feeling of weight returning very heavily.)
Other points mentioned by guest speakers:
- The thought of ‘space’ within space. How would architectural thinking have to adapt to a zero gravity environment? A new world of product design and construction.
- Will we soon be testing the capability of morphing human DNA to better suit a Moon environment?
When having the pleasure of speaking to Jeff Hoffman after presentations, discussion came up on the functionality of bio suits and next steps for innovation. Being a designer that currently works in the sport industry and often times taking into consideration the functional aspect of fashion, many points brought up in a circle of us were stimulating.
Check out the finalists here:www.shiftboston.blogspot.com
And more information on upcoming Shift Boston events:www.shiftboston.org

On Oct. 21st, 2010, I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the Moon Ball event hosted by Shift Boston at Cyclorama (The venue was spot on for this event).

Shift Boston is an organization whose mission is “to promote the future of the urban environment”. Three verbs used to describe themselves: GATHER. INSPIRE. IMPLEMENT.

"We are here to catalyze change."

The Moon Ball event was in celebration of the Moon Capital International Competition in which these questions were posed: “What if we were to occupy the moon by 2069? Might the Moon become an independent, self-sustaining and sovereign state?” . Participants were asked to develop lunar concepts on Moon habitat spaces.

A series of speakers shared ideas, theories and experiences about space architecture/travel before the winner of the Moon competition was announced. Two speakers who distinctly stood out to me were Constance Adams and Jeff Hoffman.

Constance Adams, who was a member of the design competition jury and whose roots stem in architecture, shared her personal insight on the presence of earth within space. And how we, as humans, are part of the earth. We are the moving, mobile earth. If we touch down on another planet, we are Earth.

Named as “Emerging Explorer” by Nat Geo, Adams also shared the fact that humans are the only animals that use physical tools and how this has led to our advancement.

Tool (as defined by dictionary.com): Anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose.

The creating then innovating of physical tools for efficiency, well being and entertainment has brought us to the current state of being on Earth.


Hearing Jeff Hoffman (IMG above) of NASA speak live was mind blowing. Firstly, Hoffman has been to space 5 times!!! His last being in 1996. Amazing. Secondly, he has floated in space, outside of the shuttle, as he stated, “600 miles from Earth, in between the Earth and Heaven”… Wow… Hoffman first began with how spiritually touching his trips have been. The adrenaline rush of transitioning in gravity. The discipline and curiousity necessary to be in touch with an unexplored environment.

By far the most interesting point addressed that whole evening was by Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman brought up the point of what if the handicapped and elderly being the first to inhabit the Moon. The thought of disabled people not having to worry as much about their conditions put a smile on my face. Hoffman mentioned how once occupying Las Vegas, Nevada was out of the question because of climatic changes. And now look at the area? He said if citizens’ pension plans instead financially contributed to Moon living, in its research or living stages, how big of a step that could possibly be.

Some random facts Hoffman mentioned:

- It takes approximately 8.5 minutes to reach space when launching from the States. (Imagine looking down and seeing Africa in a matter of minutes.)

- A space suit weighs about 300 pounds. (Gravity less space in itself could sustainably change inhabitants.)

- Weight transition when returning to Earth is toughest. (The feeling of weight returning very heavily.)

Other points mentioned by guest speakers:

- The thought of ‘space’ within space. How would architectural thinking have to adapt to a zero gravity environment? A new world of product design and construction.

- Will we soon be testing the capability of morphing human DNA to better suit a Moon environment?

When having the pleasure of speaking to Jeff Hoffman after presentations, discussion came up on the functionality of bio suits and next steps for innovation. Being a designer that currently works in the sport industry and often times taking into consideration the functional aspect of fashion, many points brought up in a circle of us were stimulating.

Check out the finalists here:
www.shiftboston.blogspot.com

And more information on upcoming Shift Boston events:
www.shiftboston.org