Monday, January 9, 2012


 “Biggest Little” Lunar Eclipse
Live From Reno, Nevada

On December 10, 2011 there was a total lunar eclipse – but nobody in Cincinnati could see it. It was only visible west of the Rocky Mountains so I decided to go to a city with a better angle on the eclipse: Reno, Nevada. As part of my work with the PBS show Star Gazers, the producers of the show (WPBT2 in Miami, Florida) wanted to try something unique. With the help of KNPB (Reno’s PBS station) we made a live webcast of the entire thing (at least until the Moon set).

I and fellow Star Gazer host, Marlene Hidalgo, gave a running commentary, answered questions from viewers and interviewed some special guests during the eclipse from 4:00-7:00am. The weather was perfect for viewing the eclipse from its start to totality when the Moon set behind the mountains west of Reno. I always love that first moment of the eclipse when the dark shadow of the Earth can first be seen on the Moon’s surface. But near before totality, it really turned orange fast. During totality the color wasn’t as dramatic. In fact I thought it to be a very gray eclipse. A lot of the redness increased as the Moon got lower in the sky. It was a great experience to chase this eclipse, and share it with so many people who couldn’t see it. You can find a sped up video of the eclipse at:

Next up, I plan on traveling out west twice more in 2012 - to observe the Annular Solar Eclipse on May 20 and the Transit of Venus on June 5. Astronomer: Have Telescope, Will Travel.