Shooting star, subtle eclipse grace the skies over the Washington region

A shooting star flashed across the skies on Monday, and on Friday, a bit of Earth’s shadow tinged the face of the full moon in what is known as a penumbral eclipse, as both events added some celestial drama to Washington’s week.

In a penumbral eclipse, only the partial shadow of the Earth covers the moon. The sun’s light is not completely blocked.

epa04176175 Shane Red Hawk of the Sicangu Lakota band of the Rosebud Sioux (L) and his daughter Tshina Red Hawk (R) wait for tribal leaders with the 'Cowboy and Indian Alliance' to begin a horseback ride in protest of the Keystone XL Pipeline across from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, USA, 22 April 2014. The alliance of farmers, ranchers, and tribes has dubbed their week-long series of protests 'Reject and Protect.' EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

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It turned out that any dimming of the lunar face was hard to see. “It was a beautiful moon,” said Steven Crowley. But he said neither he nor his sons saw the “subtle shading” that had been predicted.

The shooting star was probably more spectacular. The American Meteor Society said it received 141 reports of the fireball from eight states. Among those who saw it in Washington was Katelyn Burgett, who recalled its two-second passage as being “very bright” and having a color similar to a campfire spark.

 
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