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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Lunar Eclipse"
Image, 2014, Lunar Eclipse, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Total Lunar Eclipse, Vancouver, Washington, October 8, 2014, with the planet Uranus. Note blue-green tinge of the planet. Image shot with Panasonic Lumix FZ200.


Lewis and Clark and a Lunar Eclipse ...
On January 15, 1805, while at Fort Mandan, North Dakota , Lewis and Clark witnessed a total eclipse of the moon.

"... between 12 & 3 oClock this morning we had a total eclips of the moon, a part of the observations necessary for our purpose in this eclips we got which is at 12h 57m 54s     Total Darkness of the moon     @ 1 44 00     End of total Darkness of This moon     @ 2 39 10     End of the eclips— ..." [Clark, January 15, 1805]

October 8, 2014 ...
Second of the four total eclipses ("tetrad") in 2014 and 2015. Beautiful views of the "blood moon". Of special note, the planet Uranus was within one degree of the moon.

Image, 2014, Lunar Eclipse, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Total Lunar Eclipse, Vancouver, Washington, October 8, 2014, with planet Uranus (lower left) and star _____ (lower right). Note blue-green tinge of the planet Uranus. Image shot with Panasonic Lumix FZ200.
Image, 2014, Lunar Eclipse, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Total Lunar Eclipse, Vancouver, Washington, October 8, 2014, with the planet Uranus. Note blue-green tinge of the planet. Image shot with Panasonic Lumix FZ200.


February 20, 2008 ...
A total lunar eclipse occurred on the evening of Wednesday, February 20, and morning of Thursday, February 21, 2008. It was visible in the eastern evening sky on February 20 for all of North and South America, and on February 21 in the predawn western sky from most of Africa and Europe. Visible nearby was the planet Saturn (lower left) and the star Regulus (top). The February 20/21 total lunar eclipse was the first of the two lunar eclipses in 2008, with the second, the August 16, 2008 event being partial.

Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Before, Total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Canon S5.
Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Sony H5 with 1.6 "doubler".
Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Closeup, Total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Sony H5 with 1.6 "doubler".
Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Saturn, Regulus, and the total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Sony H5 with 1.6 "doubler".
Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
After, Total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Sony H5 with 1.6 "doubler".
Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
After, Total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Canon S5.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Lewis, Monday, January 14, 1805, while at Fort Mandan, North Dakota, taken from "Codex O"
Observed an Eclips of the Moon. I had no other glass to assist me in this observation but a small refracting telescope belonging to my sextant, which however was of considerable service, as it enabled me to define the edge of the moon's immage with much more precision that I could have done with the natural eye. The commencement of the eclips was obscured by clouds, which continued to interrupt me throughout the whole observation; to this cause is also attributable the inacuracy of the observation of the commencement of total darkness. I do not put much confidence in the observation of the middle of the Eclips, as it is the wo[r]st point of the eclips to distinguish with accuracy. The two last observations (i. e.) the end of total darkness, and the end of the eclips, were more satisfactory; they are as accurate as the circumstances under which I laboured would permit me to make them.—

  h m s
Commencement of total darkness 12 28 5
Middle of the Elips 12 57 24
End of total darkness 13 41 30
End of the eclips 14 39 10






Lewis, Tuesday, January 15, 1805, while at Fort Mandan, North Dakota, taken from "Codex O"
Observed equal Altitudes of the [moon] with sextant and Glass artifical horizon adjusted with a sperit level

(numbers omitted by this web author)

Altitude given by the sextant at the time of obtn.    26° 6' 15"

Chronomenter too slow on mean time -- 1h 1m 57.7s

Chronometer's daily rate of going, as deduced from this observation, and that of the 22nd of December 1804 is too slow on mean time    s 55.8

I do not place much confidence in this observation in consequence of loosing the observation of the Altitude of the [moon]'s L. L. and center P. M. and that his U. L. was somewhat obscured by a cloud. the weather was so could that I could not use water as the reflecting surface, and I was obliged to remove my glass horizon from it's first adjustment lest the savages should pilfer it.



Clark, Tuesday, January 15, 1805, while at Fort Mandan, North Dakota
between 12 & 3 oClock this morning we had a total eclips of the moon, a part of the observations necessary for our purpose in this eclips we got which is at 12h 57m 54s     Total Darkness of the moon     @ 1 44 00     End of total Darkness of This moon     @ 2 39 10     End of the eclips—




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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:    "science.nasa.gov" website, 2014, 2015;    "skyandtelescope.com" website, 2015;    "space.com" website, 2014, 2015;

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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July 2015