Eclipses in 2011: It's Not Just a Twilight Thing

 

In 2010, we had Twilight Night outdoor movies the evening of the June 26 lunar eclipse.  The dates of two total lunar eclipses in 2011 could be fortuitous for Twilight Saga fans.  Perhaps we'll get more special events!  Read below for full information and links on the six eclipses total that will take place in 2011.

According to the NASA Eclipse Web site:

Four partial solar and two total lunar eclipses take place in 2011. This 4:2 combination of solar and lunar eclipses in a single year is rather rare with only six cases during the 21st Century (2011, 2029, 2047, 2065, 2076 and 2094). The first and last eclipses always occur in January and December.

The dates and types of eclipses during 2011 are as follows.


2011 Jan 04: Partial Solar Eclipse
2011 Jun 01: Partial Solar Eclipse
2011 Jun 15: Total Lunar Eclipse
2011 Jul 01: Partial Solar Eclipse
2011 Nov 25: Partial Solar Eclipse

2011 Dec 10: Total Lunar Eclipse 

The NASA eclipse site includes all the information you could possibly want, including some nice full color diagrams.  Those of us in North America won't see it the solar eclipse on January 4, but the eclipse will be visible over most of Europe and NE Asia, and to some extent in North Africa.

For some stellar photos and videos of the December total lunar eclipse, head on over to The Huffington Post's coverage.

Maybe another Twilight Night with cast visits on June 15?  It is a Wednesday night but that won't be a problem, right Summit Entertainment and Moviefone?

In 2010, there was a special wide rerelease in honor of Bella's birthday on September 13.  Might we get the same in honor of the lunar eclipse on December 10, 2011?  OK, again I am making a stretch as it is a Thursday, but one can dream.

With all of the eclipses in 2011, this is a great time to educate our children that an eclipse is a spectacular natural event and just a movie and a book.  I was giving out vampire-themed silly bands to some fourth-grade girls this past fall for correct answers to Twilight and celestial trivia when this exchange occurred:

Me: "What is an eclipse?"

Girl: "I don't know!  I didn't see the movie!"

Gah!  Not a good thing.  Do check out the NASA Kids' Club Web site.  It's full of fun and educational games.

In fact, Vanity Fair poked some fun at a possible eclipse confusion on their blog on December 21:

This morning, around 3 a.m. E.S.T., much of North America dragged themselves out of bed to glimpse a terribly inconvenient lunar eclipse. By all accounts, the moon appeared round, and the sky dark. To be fair: our dispassionate recapitulation of today’s celestial phenomenon does not reflect the fervor expressed on Twitter and in the nation’s newspapers for the lunar eclipse. It’s an excitement and intensity that, in our opinion, appears to be completely independent of the quality of the spectacle itself. In fact, the incessant frenzy recalls the fanaticism surrounding the year’s other significant eclipse: the third installation of the Twilight movie series.

Try for yourself to take Vanity Fair's quiz and see if you can tell whether each viewer comment describes the lunar eclipse or Twilight: Eclipse.

In parting, here's one of my favorite passages from Eclipse:

“I used to think of you that way, you know.  Like the sun.  My personal sun.  You balanced out the clouds nicely for me.”

He sighed.  “The clouds I can handle.  But I can’t fight with an eclipse.”

                                     -- Stephenie Meyer, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, "Ethics"

For a review of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and a feature on 2010's Twilight Night, please see "Top 13 Twilight Highlights of 2010" on the "Confessions of a Twilidiot" blog.

 

:-) Gretchen a.k.a. Twilidiot

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Tags: 2011, Breaking Dawn, Eclipses, NASA, Twilight Night, eclipse, education, kids, lunar, photos, More…solar, space

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