I went out tonight at about 3:40, pulled a kayak from the side of the house, put it in the lake and pushed off. It was a marvelous sky, completely clear and crisp. One of the first things I saw was Orion high in the eastern sky. There were the Pleiades, and a falling star! It was all so breathtaking. I turn to the moon, and at the top edge, I see it looks a bit flat. The edge of the penumbra had just touched it.
I spent almost an hour floating out in the lake. The problems with kayaks are that one gets wet, they drift and turn, and they are uncomfortable for long periods. So, with the eclipse well underway, I dock and moor the little boat, and decide to take a short trip up the road to a public-use pier. I sat out there on a rickety picnic table, gazing at the stars, checking the moon while the reddish tinge of the shadowed part grew more visible as the fully lit portion waned. It seemed to hang at that stage with a little parenthesis of light at the bottom of this rusty orb, looking almost like an absurd smiley face.
Solar eclipses get all the attention, and rightly so. You have to be at the right place at the right time to get to see that show, and what can compete with a corona or the diamond ring? Lunar eclipses are for everyone on the right side of the planet, however. The moon's show lasts for hours, too. One thing I noticed, which I hadn't before, was the way the sky around the moon seemed devoid of stars, yet as the shadow moved across the lunar surface and it dimmed, the stars started to reveal themselves. This was quite pronounced for me as I was looking across the water at it and the shimmery reflection of the moon dimmed along with the real thing.
I decided to come back in around 5:20, still a bit before the peak, but I knew that it wouldn't come back before the sunrise/moonset. Overall, I saw four falling stars, two satellites, and one gorgeous eclipse. I'm very glad I went out to see it.
Well, the sky is getting light, but this time from the east. All good vampires should go to bed. ^_^