Tuesday, September 28, 2010

earth shadow

One benefit of insomnia is watching the day break. This morning the earth's shadow was quite dramatic.
It happens on clear days. At sunrise you will see it about 15 minutes before the sun comes up. As the sky begins to color you will see a dark band on the horizon that will gradually lose width, lighten, and disappear with the rising sun. At sunset it happens after the sun has sunk into the horizon and gradually adds width, darkens and disappears when twilight ends.

The first time I was sure it was the earth's shadow was many years ago on Maui. Waiting for the sunrise on Haleakala we saw the peak that we were on top of in the shadow. There was no mistaking that small triangle in the "shadow" band. I do have proof, but it's a film picture that's packed away with the rest of our pre-digital photos. Dick and I waved and waved, but I'm afraid our shadows were much to small...

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