Sunday, February 24, 2008

see an eclipse -"To Spark teens curiousity, do not disturb"

((c) photo by E.Flescher)

There was an interesting article in Sundays Kansas City Star (P.B9, 2/24/2008) under the Opinion page entitled "To Spark teens curiousity, do not disturb" by Rhonda Lokeman.

In the article, there is a photo of the eclipse in the sky over Macedonia from the Associated Press. But it is the content of the article that really said much more.

The lunar eclipse had caught the eye of this reporter's teenager.The eclipse captured her attention and pointed the eclipse to her mother. The reporter actually observed it because of the daughter's observation. "What matters to teenagers, as parents will attest, is the source of the suggestion. Parental suggestions are just not cool. "

This was also a night in which the military was to shoot down a rouge spy satellite (and succedded). The eclipse for this child was "cooler" then the interception and destruction of a satellite, which was the preoccupation of the reporter.

What is even better, is the daughter took extra time and creativity to take a picture with her camera on her phone! This she displayed to the reporter/ mother. The moment of observation was "captured" through images which many of us like to do with our digital cameras and videocamcorders to "relive" the moments of the eclipse, celestial object or other sights.

The daugher then sent it on to her friend with the camera phone. Her friend's response, predicatbly , came as a text message : "Kul"

We had a little more time to tell people about this eclipse. We weren't so fortunate with the Comet McNaught, (the brightest comet in 40 years), which only several of us, in the Northern Hemisphere, only saw for 4 days beforethe brilliant comet slipped into the skies of the Southern Hemisphere

I had sent information through my emails to relatives, blog, email listserves etc. My mother in Providence, RI saw it through her kitchen window. My brother in law saw it and telephoned me. I had told some of my students to watch for it and while they tried, the weather here in Overland Park was not good. While I lamented staying at Powell Observatory (near Louisbourg, KS and Kansas City area) as the clouds rolled in, I hoped others would see the eclipse. I should have tried to escape the clouds to see this lunar eclipse, as we did in Hungary 1999, to see the total solar eclipses of that year. Others had better luck North or in Missouri.

But like that teenager, I saw some of it and saw the orange-red hues on the moons surface like the eclipse in August 2007. I have my pictures and videos of that great 1999 eclipse and that past lunar eclipse. There are many words to express a beautiful sight. For older and young "Kul" says a lot.

Dr. Eric Flescher (, Olathe, KS: Lat 38.834, Lon -94.778: Nature's Greatest Spectacle- 2008 & 2009 Total Eclipse- Winco Eclipse Tours, Comet Observers Award Coordinator- Astronomical League / Astronomical Society of Kansas, KC, MO-Louisburg,KS: Comet Observers Blog: to Comet Observers newsletter (send your email to) : : Eclipse sightings > E.O.A.S. (Earth, Oceans, Atmosphere and Space) Blog -:sign up for free monthly astronomical newsletter (send message to: Blog : State of Kansas-JPL NASA Solar System Ambassador

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