lunar eclipse

NASA

Here we sit in the middle of January 2019. Yet follow the months back to January of 1805, to find Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their crew overwintering at Fort Mandan, in the heart of North Dakota. Like sailors of old who navigated seemingly endless oceans, Lewis and Clark were explorers, gazing across a vast sea of snow-covered plains, wondering where exactly they were.

As we welcome in a New Year, let’s explore the astronomical wonders that we can see from the Western Slope during 2018.

Many earthlings were treated to a rare sight last night, as a "supermoon" coincided with a lunar eclipse. It was a bad night to have clouds obscuring the view, as the last total eclipse that had these qualities occurred in 1982, and the next won't happen until 2033.

This lunar eclipse ticked many boxes for sky watchers: It was a supermoon, when the moon is both full and in perigee, or close to Earth, making it loom large in our sky. It was also a blood moon (the fourth and final lunar eclipse). And because it occurred days after the fall equinox, this was also the harvest moon.

If you rise early on Saturday, April 4 you will be treated to an unusual event:  the third of four total lunar eclipses occurring within a period of just two years.  This has been called a lunar eclipse tetrad. 

Here are some photos taken of the eclipse in the U.S., China and Nepal:

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