Dozens trade sleep for chance to witness rare event in the sky
MILWAUKEE - Dozens of people gathered at the Milwaukee Public Museum in the middle of the night to get a close-up look at the "Blood Moon."
"It's a rare sky event, a total lunar eclipse and it's beautiful to watch," said Planetarium Director Robert Bonadurer.
The moon passed into Earth's umbra, or shadow, overnight and turned a reddish color. It started around 1 a.m. and ended around 4:30 a.m. with the maximum eclipse time at 2:45 a.m.
"We had a great crowd tonight. For the middle of the night, we must have had more than 50 people, which is not bad considering we went from [1 a.m. to 4 a.m.]," Bonadurer said.
Those who chose to forgo sleep in favor of the eclipse were well rewarded.
"Oh, they were enthralled. We were looking at the planet Saturn a lot. That gets a lot of thrills, some oohs and aahs, kind of like watching a fireworks show," Bonadurer said.
Some people even brought their kids.
"We had one little four-year-old," Bonadurer said. "It's spring break for some of [the children]. A lot of them were all bundled up, so it was great."
You don't have to be a scientist to appreciate a total lunar eclipse.
"I think it's just a chance to connect with something bigger than themselves, and there's nothing bigger than the sky," Bonadurer said.
If you missed it, there will be another chance later this year.
"We haven't had an eclipse in a while," Bonadurer said. "They can run in bunches. We had one two and a half years ago, but it was cloudy. We got this one and one in October. We actually have two in October, a solar and a lunar eclipse."
People in North America will be able to see three more lunar eclipses between now and September of next year if the skies are clear. They will be on October 8 of this year, April 4, 2015, and September 28, 2015.
Submit your lunar eclipse photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.