I see your umbra…

At 7:01 pm Pacific Time on February 20, a total lunar eclipse took place!
The sky was clear, and it was a great event.  Hope you got to watch…          

Photo by D. Douglass 10/24/04 lunar eclipse, click at your own risk
The last eclipse was August 28, 2007 and lasted 90 minutes. This one will lasted, in totality, just 55 minutes. The moon may appear dark, blood-red or orange in color.
If you’ve never had the chance to see one, you just might be an Astorian. Seriously, though, a quote from NASA’s website may help further understanding in anticipation of the event:
“An eclipse of the Moon can only take place at Full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of Earth’s shadow. The shadow is actually composed of two cone-shaped parts, one nested inside the other. The outer shadow or penumbra is a zone where Earth blocks some (but not all) of the Sun’s rays. In contrast, the inner shadow or umbra is a region where Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the Moon.”
What does this mean to me?
“Lunar eclipses have long been associated with superstitions and signs of ill omen, especially in battle.
The defeat of the Persian king Darius III by Alexander the Great in the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC was foretold by soothsayers when the Moon turned blood-red a few days earlier.

And an eclipse is credited with saving the life of Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1504.
Stranded on the coast of Jamaica, the explorers were running out of food and faced with increasingly hostile local inhabitants who were refusing to provide them with any more supplies.
Columbus, looking at an astronomical almanac compiled by a German mathematician, realised that a total eclipse of the Moon would occur on February 29, 1504.
He called the native leaders and warned them if they did not cooperate, he would make the Moon disappear from the sky the following night. ”
Clever use of resources.
In February of 1876, the sloop Dreadnaught wrecked on Clatsop Beach with the loss of all seven hands. Was this event a lunar premontion, or just bad luck? On February 21, 1882, the Corsica, a Quebec bark was wrecked. $40,838 worth of ship and cargo hits bottom 12 miles south of the river.
Note to self: cancel plans for cruise tomorrow night. Stay home and shop for something great, instead.
We’re having an “eclipse sale” here at NW Limited…History in VogueTM.
Email Bill or call: 503-338-6056 to find out more.
The next lunar eclipse is not set to happen until December 10, 2010.

NASA: Total Lunar Eclipse February 20, 2008