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Watching the Lunar Eclipse Tonight With the Kids

lunar eclipse, lunar eclipse 2010 december

Wanna be a fun mom? Get up tonight and watch the moon eclipse.

We’re on winter break. I’m a nerd and susceptible to hype. We never do anything fun.

Really, there’s no excuse not to wake the kids and walk out into this endless Southern California rain late, late tonight to watch the lunar eclipse (or, at least, scan the turbid sky for a red ball of moon poking through).

I’ll tweet the family lunar shenanigans (follow me @mholler) and will include lots of #eclipse hashtags. Warning, it could get ugly: I have one very deep sleeper and an epic crank. Might need to bribe with midnight cookies, but it’s for education, so reserve judgment please.

If you’re watching with the kids and tweeting, I’ll follow you, too. Here are eclipse details:

Things will start to get interesting around 1:30 a.m. EST (that’s only 10:30 p.m. for me and the kids!) and will last until 5:30 a.m. EST. I’m all over the contingency plans, in case the rain doesn’t let up: NASA’s streaming live video of the entire eclipse. Slooh, the online Space Camera, will stream a live feed through Google Earth. Space.com will be tweeting the moon eclipse event (plus check out this awesome timetable).

Seriously, no excuses!

John’s got the summary of what to expect (and the way this celestial event connects up with the winter solstice) and why the moon will go red rather than disappear altogether.

Another total moon eclipse will happen in the spring of 2014, so it’s not like a Haley’s Comet kind of thing. But who knows what my 9-year-0ld will  be willing to do with me 4 years from now. Even though she’ll be more likely to get up (or stay up) in a few years, she’s also more likely to have something else going on. This is one of those chances to seize the day (night?). I’m going for it.

Plus, it could make this family project more exciting.

Also? Even though all of this will be available online tomorrow — video, awesome photos — I’ll think of myself as having copped out if I don’t at least try to see this thing live and in person. I mean, will my kids be underwhelmed if I manage to get them out of bed? Sure. Is this a once in a lifetime opportunity? Not even close. Will they remember this? Probably. I’m sure I will, too.

Got plans to do this either by yourself or with the kids? Post your wake-up/back-to-bed strategies in comments. I’m winging it and will consider the whole thing is we actually step outside. Bonus points for a comment acknowledging what we’ve done, even snark counts.

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