Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Earth's Shadow Crosses the Moon

7:57 p.m.

8:20 p.m.

Earth's shadow crosses the moon in lunar eclipse
Updated Wed. Feb. 20 2008 10:57 PM ET News Staff

Canadian skies were mostly clear for Wednesday's lunar eclipse, the full moon bright in the sky as Earth's shadow crawled out from the left of the glowing sphere, ultimately turning it blood red.

Starting at 8:42 p.m. ET (7:43 p.m. CT, 6:43 p.m. MT and 5:43 p.m. PT) and lasting for three hours, the last total lunar eclipse before 2010 was visible anywhere in North America lucky enough to have clear skies, according to NASA. It was also visible in Europe and Africa.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth's shadow blocks the sun's rays from hitting the moon. The three bodies must be perfectly aligned during a full moon, a rare event because the orbits of the moon and Earth are not on the same plane.

What began around 8:30 p.m. as a faint hint of darkness at the bottom left of the moon's visible surface turned to almost complete darkness by about 9:30 p.m. The moon was completely shadowed around 10 p.m., appearing with a red or orange hue.


So, I am watching the weather on Channel 21 (KTXA Dallas), when the eclipse starts, and the local weatherman, Garry P. Seith, says that they don't have a live shot out of Dallas because of the cloud cover. So, instead, they are showing a live video-feed out of Florida.

Well, this is the amazing part:

I look out the window, and I can see the Lunar Eclipse fine, as it is still clear as a bell over Fort Worth. I pick up the camera, and take a photo of the moon, and I email it to KTXA. Here is the timeline:

7:57 I walk outside and take the photo;

7:59 I hit the email "send" button, with this message: "Here is a nice, local shot for you!"

8:00 photo received at KTXA, by Chris Best, Managing Editor KTXA;

8:01 he forwards the email to Garry Seith with these five words: "Let’s use this you produce."

8:05 I get an email back from Garry Seith that says: "Andrew, thank you! I’m using it in my next weather segment." He has already prepared the segment, and I look up at the television, and there is Garry, standing in front of the photo and thanking me for sending it into the station! * BAM! *

That is absolutely remarkable! It speaks volumes about the expertise of the professionals at KTXA that they could turn that around so fast! It was so smooth, it looked like they had been rehearsing the segment all afternoon.

I sent in a second photo, at 8:20 p.m., and they turned that one around just as fast!

Kudos to Chris Best, Garry Seith, and the crew at KTXA!

1 comment:

Diane Duesterhoeft said...

The story's pretty cool!