Skywatchers are excitedly awaiting the total lunar eclipse that will occur tonight between 2:41 a.m. and 3:53 a.m. EST, and if you intend to stay awake to watch this amazing sight, then by all means read the Space.com description of the 12 stages of the eclipse. Joe Rao’s article thoughtfully explains what you will see as the moon transits through different portions of the earth’s shadow. I wholeheartedly recommend it—
—if you want to wallow in astronomical nonsense.
Oh, I’m sure Joe Rao’s piece is backed up by an abundance of scientific facts and observations, if you care to put your faith in such things. But those of us well-versed in the ancient wisdoms know that the real 12 stages of a lunar eclipse are as follows:
- Faint penumbral dimming of the moon’s disk.
- Pervasive creeping sensations of unease.
- Howling of wolves.
- Unclean things walk the earth; Dick Cheney rises from the grave.
- Contortion of the zodiac.
- Intrusion of strange dimensions.
- Universal gibbering madness.
- A glimmer of sanity in the chaos.
- Restoration of Euclidean geometry.
- Fungal Mi-go from Yuggoth return captive brains to their rightful owners.
- Applause, followed by waffles for breakfast.
Those are the stages of a lunar eclipse I learned in school. Do you know of others? Please mention them in comments; provide an appropriate number for them so that we can learn where they fall in the sequence (e.g., “3.4. Senator James Inhofe leads flat-earth rebellion against globes in public schools”).