22º Halo

I went out this evening to check out the clouds. They’re moving in, which is BAD for Thursday night. (More about that in a bit.) The eleven-day-old moon is bright, but between it and the clouds…

There’s that full 22º halo around the moon, the result of the moonlight being refracted through layers of ice crystals high in the atmosphere.

The long lines on the right are aircraft contrails. It’s very pretty and all, but those clouds are expected to stick around and get worse for a few days.

The problem with that is that there’s an almost total lunar eclipse on Thursday night/Friday morning. It’s over three hours long, with mid-eclipse at about 01:00 here in California. It’s a long one, well over three hours, and pretty much anywhere in North America you’ll have a good chance of seeing it.

But only if it’s not totally obscured by clouds. Obviously.

We’ll see what Thursday night brings for Los Angeles. Tonight all I can see is the moon and (just barely) Jupiter. If this was Thursday night I would be seeing a reddish ring and not much else. Let’s hope for better in 48 hours.

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Space

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