November 28, 2004

Struck By Lunar Eclipse

My family and I went out on our trampoline Wednesday night with sleeping bags and pillows to watch the lunar eclipse.

Following is my record of the lunar eclipse:

8:50 - no clouds but full moon.

9:05 -no clouds.

9:15 -the moon is still full.

9:20 -small chunk shaded.

9:27 - the moon a little smaller.

9:32 -moon getting smaller.

10:25 -total lunar eclipse.

We waited for about 20 minutes before it started. Small pieces got shaded at a time. It felt funny to see the moon getting smaller by the minute. It took a long time before it was complete. We snuggled into the sleeping bags and waited for the eclipse to happen. The moon looked kind of orangish when we went to bed at 11 p.m.

A lunar eclipse is where the earth gets lined up in the middle of the sun and the moon. The earth casts a shadow on the moon causing it to become dark.

The reason it is not safe to look at a solar eclipse is because it is in the daytime when the sun is shining bright and it could burn a hole in your eye without you even feeling it. The reason it is safe to look at a lunar eclipse is because it is in the nighttime and there is no heat. The moon does not make any of it's own light. All the light that it shines is a reflection from the sun.

One reason I liked watching the lunar eclipse was that my mom read a little bit about the moon and eclipses so I learned a little. At times my mom needed a flashlight to read and other times the reflection from the sun onto the moon was enough light. Also, just watching it happen was fun.

Ian Gingerich, 9, is the son of Sam and Cathie Gingerich, 30 Witmer Road, Conestoga. He is a home-schooled fourth grader.

(Copyright 2004 Lancaster Newspapers)