A little lunacy can be a good thing if it gets you out of bed early in the morning ' real early, like 5 a.m. That's what time you'll have to get up to catch the total lunar eclipse on Tuesday, Aug. 28. If the atmosphere is clear, it'll be a beauty.
The moon will hang in the western sky, about 30 degrees above the horizon when the eclipse begins to become noticeable, at about 4:06 a.m. As the earth passes between the moon and the sun, it will cast a shadow across the shining white orb. The moon will blush ' peach to orange to red as the shadow of the earth increases. That warm wash of red is due to sunlight bending like a fiery corona around and through earth's atmosphere, illuminating the moon. "So the reddish-orange color people will see is a combination of all the colors of all the sunrises and sunsets on earth at that particular moment," says Lafayette Planetarium Director Dave Hostetter. "It is kind of a wow thing." By 6:30 a.m. the eclipse will end, the moon will set and the sun rise on a new, ordinary looking day, with no residue of a red moon.
The best places to look at the eclipse are spots with a clear view of the western horizon. Cypremort Point is one obvious choice, but any place with a western vista not blocked by trees or buildings is a good bet. Hostetter likes Moore Park in north Lafayette, off of La. Hwy. 182. A pair of binoculars will enhance the experience; the seas and mountain ranges of the moon should be visible though good lenses. Watch the weather and hope for a clear night and cloudless morning. If you miss this turn in the celestial dance, the next total eclipse of the moon will occur on Feb. 20, 2008.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.