Every so often the earth and the moon get in the way of each other’s view of the sun, providing viewers on earth with lovely view of a lunar or solar eclipse. The night of April 14-15 will provide us with one such event, a total lunar eclipse.
The Associated Press says that, “The total phase will last 78 minutes, beginning at 3:06 a.m. EDT and ending at 4:24 a.m. EDT” — EDT being Eastern Daylight Time. Broken down by time zone the eclipse will start at:
– 3:06 Eastern
– 2:06 Central
– 1:06 Mountain
– 12:06 Pacific
For us here in Arizona, that means our view of the eclipse will start just after midnight, on April 15. You’ll be able to see it with the naked eye, but if you want a better view then binoculars might give you the close up you’re after. For the photographers, our photog here at Old Town recommends a longer focus lens from 125mm on up for the best photos, a tripod, and suggests a trip over to the Photography On the Net Forum to talk with pros about astrophotography. They’ll be able to offer suggestions about camera settings and lenses and share their photos and experiences. For photographers this is a great opportunity to photograph the night sky.
For Native Americans, the event holds a different significance. One of our silversmiths is from the Navajo tribe and he gave us some insight on the event from a Native American point of view. According to tradition, when the moon turns dark it means that the moon is dying. The members of the tribe must not eat, drink, or sleep during the darkened moon. Instead, they gather to sing a collection of healing songs to restore the moon. Pregnant women must not look at the moon either, but they still join the tribe in the ritualist singing and fasting. Once the moon is restored, the tribe may again eat, drink, and sleep.
Native American artists often depict the moon in their work, as seen below in the art of Calvin Begay. This buckle features the style seen in Begay’s work with geometric shapes and patterns, not unlike David Rosales. We’ve got several other pieces very much like this one, including pendents, rings, and bracelets. If you like the night sky as depicted by native artists and want something to wear on your outing to watch the lunar eclipse, give us a call! We can certainly help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
In the meantime, write us and tell us what you’re doing for the lunar eclipse! Will you stay up and watch or catch it on the news the next day? Let us know in the comment section below!