Julio Vannini


One of the most wonderful astronomical events available without the need of any particular artificial optical instrument, and shared almost instantaneously in a whole hemisphere is without doubts a Lunar Eclipse.

Lunar Eclipse collage

And the Eclipse from December 21st, 2010 was no exception to the previous statement, with so many good astro-friend in may Countries that were as expectant as I was for this event.

This particular eclipse coincided with the Winter Solstice for the Northern Hemisphere and happened to be one of the most "darkest" (meaning that: one where the shadow of our planet fell almost perfectly over the lunar disc) in the recent times.

With so many expectation and nerves, a small group from ANASA gathered at the fields of the Pierre & Marie Curie elementary school, in the outskirts of Managua; battling against mosquitoes and the late hour of the event. For Nicaragua, the Penumbral part of the eclipse began on Dec. 20th, 23:30 hours.

Around some 40 people joined us, mostly kids; willing to observe their first Lunar Eclipse. Weather forecast were reserved for us, talking about heavy clouds and strong winds.

We were able to enjoy the eclipse just until a few minutes past the initial part of Totality, where those dreaded forecasts became true: clouds rapidly covered our sky and stayed there for a very long time, whilst a dark-reddened Moon hovered above us, hidden from our sight.

I had the chance to peek at the Moon for a brief time, using my small telescope, in a window among the clouds, and I was amazed how really dark it was! I was able to hint some blue and purple tint on the less darker areas, something I had never saw before during a total eclipse.

I was glad to spent this time with my wife and several friends from ANASA: Ricardo Ruiz, Sergio Melendez and Nohelia Ocampo. Also it was fun to receive updates via SMS from Adelmo Sandino and Javier Ramirez, while a diligent Luis Arguello kept an open line by phone, reporting several times.

Sergio was so kind to bring with him the smallest telescope I have ever seen: it resemble pretty much to a can of potatoes chips. The resulting end: kids love it!

I invite you to share with the us the experience, by watching the pictures already posted in my Picasa web album.

Clear skies!


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    About Me

    Amateur Astronomer from Nicaragua. My main interest is Public Outreach, the Moon and Variable Stars. I am married to Sonia and father to Cesar, Alessandra and Oscar.


    Location:Granada, Granada