I was watching the blood moon with a perfectly clear night- using only my naked eyes. At such a micro level, is it possible that all the shimmer I saw was an artefact of our atmosphere or just my poor eyes being the apeture? It basically had the look of a dark flame upon the moon- flickering.

My assumption was that the suns rays could be being attenuated through varied atmospheric densities causing a flickering effect. What is really happening?

Note... I wanted to observe it closer but snow and -9 degree weather prevented it. Bad to bring my telescope out in that. Also sorry for the shorthand. On mobile as well.

  • $\begingroup$ Please edit your question to provide more information. For example, was the moon close to the horizon or high in the sky? At what point of the eclipse was it - penumbra, partial or total? Your description of the weather suggests you were in northern latitudes rather than lying beside the pool in Acapulco, but location might also make a difference, e.g. coastal, highlands etc. Also, the title of your question mentions clouds but the body says "perfectly clear night" - please edit the title if necessary. $\endgroup$ – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Jan 22 '19 at 0:57
  • $\begingroup$ @chappo since the answer is no just vtc it. Its not helping anyone. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Jan 22 '19 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ I had already voted to close when I posted my comment, but I believe it's important to give the user a heads-up so they can improve their post before it gets to the point of closure. At the very least, my previous comment indicates the level of detail needed for future questions. :-) $\endgroup$ – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Jan 22 '19 at 21:04

Probably the cold weather was playing tricks on your eyes. Or might have been faint clouds in the local sky (too faint to notice otherwise), or even your own breath. Cold weather astronomy is tricky. Sometimes you see your own breath as turbulence in the telescope. It's weird when you see it, and fun when you are able to explain it.

BTW, it's called a lunar eclipse, or a Moon eclipse. That's how astronomers refer to it.

"Blood", "wolf", "super" and other terms from vampire fantasy books for teenagers are just how bloggers and uncritical media like to talk about it. It's a fad - this too shall pass, although it may take years.

But it's an eclipse. A Moon eclipse.


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