Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate"

Total Lunar Eclipse: November 8, 2003

Witness a total lunar eclipse occurring the evening of Saturday,  November 8, 2003.  It is an ideal way to rid the inside of your house of those football fans who come over for the Notre Dame/Navy game.  Observers in Mishawaka, IN, can visit the PHM Planetarium and Air/Space Museum for a planetarium program about the moon and to observe the eclipse with telescopes.  The moon rises at 5:27 p.m. EST; the visible part of the eclipse gets underway at 6:32 p.m. EST.  While you are waiting for the eclipse to begin, try some lunar activities (below) with your football guests.

Saturday, November 8, 2003

Note: The November 8th eclipse, listed below in Eastern Standard Time (EST) is shown at right  as November 9th in Universal Time (UT).  For EST, subtract 5 hours from UT, which may put  you in the previous day.  (For example, 01:30 UT on November 9 is the same as 8:30 p.m. EST on November 8.)  


Moonrise at 5:27 p.m. 

(Penumbral begins 5:15 p.m. )

Partial lunar eclipse begins 6:32 p.m. 

Total lunar eclipse begins 8:06 p.m. 

Greatest eclipse 8:18 p.m. 

Total lunar eclipse ends 8:30 p.m. 

Partial lunar eclipse ends 10:04 p.m. 

(Penumbral ends 11:21 p.m. )



Parts of Indiana observe Eastern Standard Time (EST) year-round.   For insight into that elusive  Hoosier Time (tongue-in-cheek called HT) see  Indiana is listed under "Changes and irregularities."


Image courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC (


Try these moon-related activities at home or in school prior to the eclipse.

 The Lunar Eclipse activity differentiates between the fainter outer shadow (penumbra) and the darker inner shadow (umbra).  The human eye can usually only discern the darker umbra.  
Oreo-complete_plate.jpg (23364 bytes)  Make and share a plateful of tasty reminders of the changing lunar shape with Oreo Moon Phases.
Satellite_bowl_upR.jpg (12587 bytes) Make a Satellite Tracking Bowl to predict satellite passes November 8th, the night of the eclipse.
Clay lunar landscapes.jpg (411986 bytes) Create models of the Lunar Surface using clay.  
Moon_Finder_2R.jpg (12281 bytes) Make a Moon Finder to track the moon for any date or time, given any phase.  
Read Goodnight Moon, then discover at Bad Moons Rising why hidden nuggets within Clement Hurd's  illustrations make it such a great book. 


  • For additional information through  Penn Harris Madison Schools, visit the PHM Planetarium & Air/ Space Museum, located inside Bittersweet School, just north of Penn High School.  The November 8th schedule is listed as:

    Lunar Eclipse  Saturday November 8 6:30 pm

    The full Moon will enter into totality at 8:06 local time and will end at 8:30. We'll begin our presentation with a telescopic view starting at 6:30 when the Moon is in its partial eclipse stage. From 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm we'll have mini Planetarium presentation on a Lunar Eclipse. We'll conclude by observing the total eclipse from 8:06 to 8:30.

  • For eclipse details see Fred Espenak's site at

  • For lunar eclipses in general, see

  • Kids, wear reflectors.   

  • For Girl Scout Brownies in the audience, see also the Try-It on page 97 entitled "What's an Eclipse?"

Coming June 8, 2004, is a transit of Venus, a celestial spectacle so rare that no human living today has seen one.  Details and links are at  Mark your calendar.


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Copyright 2012 Chuck Bueter.  All rights reserved.