Column: A sign for Election Day? How about a blood moon

We really do have a pathological passion for all things meteorological, nautical and celestial in the Long Beach Post Newsroom.

And while we wait for the next consequential content compulsion to overcome us — whether it’s waiting for our ship to sail in, or waiting for a Great Conjunction planetary alignment, or waiting for a hurricane to maybe but probably ultimately not make landfall in Long Beach — it appears we’ll instead have to settle for something slightly less exciting for now: a total lunar eclipse, visible across Southern California and beginning just after midnight on Monday.

But if it’s just after midnight, wouldn’t it technically be early Tuesday morning and not Monday?

Whatever. Timing has never been one of our biggest strengths.

Anyway, according to NASA, the eclipse will begin just after midnight Monday (Tuesday?) on the West Coast, when the moon enters the penumbra.

Penumbra, of course, originating from the Latin root ‘paene,’ meaning, ‘we didn’t,’ and ‘umbra,’ meaning, ‘study Latin.’

Local school children informed us the definition of a total lunar eclipse is when the Earth’s orbit places the Blue Planet completely between the sun and the full moon, blocking all direct sunlight from reaching the lunar surface.

During a total eclipse, the moon appears to take on a red hue — a “blood moon.”

Because that’s exactly the sort of ominous sign from the heavens we need on Election Day.

Or the night before Election Day.

NASA said the alignment will last close to 90 minutes, ending at about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday (see we’re back to this Monday night/Tuesday morning thing again) Pacific time. There will be a partial Lunar eclipse for another hour afterward.

The Griffith Observatory is closed Monday and Tuesday, but the observatory is hosting an online broadcast of the eclipse from midnight to 6 a.m. A time-lapse version of the eclipse feed will be available from Griffith Observatory’s YouTube channel.

The next total Lunar eclipse visible from the continental United States won’t occur until March 14, 2025, according to NASA.

Unlike a solar eclipse, no special eyewear is required to observe a Lunar eclipse.

But seriously, please don’t stare at the sun.

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David Sommers is publisher of the Long Beach Post. As the publication’s top leader, he is responsible for everything from editorial and advertising to technical and corporate operations. On any given day, you can find him meeting with advertisers, schmoozing with city leaders and poring over tough news decisions. He’s also responsible for fixing the copy machine, setting up officer furniture and keeping the newsroom well-stocked with paper towels and coffee pods.
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