Rare Cosmic Event to Transpire Tuesday Morning
You have two options: Stay up Late or Get up Early!It's been over thirty months since the continental United States in it's entirety has been able to view a total lunar eclipse. Keep your eyes on the sky next Tuesday morning, December 21st. The moon will hit a particular point in its orbiting cycle so that the Earth will be directly in line with it and our sun, giving us a total lunar eclipse. Keep an eye on the top left edge, where NASA states the "Earth's shadow will appear as a dark red bite at the edge of the lunar disk." Unlike a solar eclipse where the corona of the sun in its full brilliance will burn your retinas; looking at a lunar eclipse requires no special eye wear or protection. NASA states that the eclipse cycle is expected to last over three hours and will commence at approximately 1:33 a.m. EST (pay attention to upper left edge) and end just after 5:00 a.m. EST with the moon reaching a vibrant coppery-red coloration at about 3:17 a.m. at Mid-Eclipse. The moon will be completely in shadow from about 2:40 a.m. EST to 3:54 a.m.
In terms of location and visibility, NASA sums it up by stating: "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."
We can enjoy total lunar eclipses around every five years or so, but there is something extremely unique about next week's event. This particular eclipse will coincide with the December winter solstice, the longest night of the year. A total lunar eclipse on a winter solstice is a very rare event: the last one took place over 450 years ago. It might be a good idea to try and brave the cold for the viewing, even if it's for 10-15 minutes every hour or so until it's complete, because you won't be able to enjoy it again until around 2401. There will be another total lunar eclipse sometime in April 2014, but it will certainly not be as rare.
FORGE FX Simulations, in cooperation with Pearson/Prentice Hall, has created a Interactive 3D Learning Simulation. Click Here to enjoy the "real-time 3D simulation allowing you to control and interact with solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, and the different phases of the moon. The moon revolves around Earth in an elliptical orbit. It takes the moon about 27.3 days to orbit Earth once. This interactive 3D simulation demonstrates how this orbit causes the phases of the moon and eclipses."
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Yes, a coup d'état.
- Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
- A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
- Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.
- The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
- Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
- As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
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