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

October 19, 2013

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.

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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