Solar and Lunar Eclipses are Actually a Lot Like Selfie Booths
The Super Blood Blood Moon dazzled onlookers across the globe Wednesday morning. The abnormally huge-looking moon turned a shade of crimson, and that really freaked some people out.
Of course, it wasn’t a sign of the approaching apocalypse, said Brandon Echter and Rachel Bouton of Science Friday, a weekly public radio show, at the Inverse Lunar Eclipse Party and Science Fair at Caveat, a bar in New York City.
Rather, it’s a celestial phenomenon that can be explained with a selfie booth.
“So our glowing orb here is the satellite,” Echter tells Inverse. “You are like the Earth or a planet, and the iPad is like the Sun, or the light source. You basically go across it like an eclipse and block the light from getting to it, just like an eclipse.”
Their stellar selfie station was accompanied by a poster board covered in hand-drawn diagrams of every type of eclipse we Earthlings can experience. It included a breakdown of the three categories of solar eclipses — partial, annular, and total.
“So a partial eclipse is when the moon just grazes the sun. An annular eclipse, is when the sun is mostly covered but you can still see a portion of it, so night quite a full fit. A total is like what we saw this past summer, when you have the corona — that beautiful thing that blows your mind.”
Their presentation also showed the luna some love with sketches explaining why the moon turned red during the total eclipse on Wednesday. Since the Earth is between the sun and the moon, they explained, sunlight that normally hits the moon directly is scattered through the atmosphere, giving it that red tinge.
It’s probably a good thing science fair-goers couldn’t mimic an eclipse to that degree with the selfie station (though a few drinks would certainly have helped).