Science: Appulse

Across the upper part of the moon's disk one night last week flitted a ruddy shadow, tilted about eight degrees to the east. It was an appulse of the moon, visible in most of North America and parts of Europe. Associated Press's Science Editor Howard Blakeslee compared the sight to "a bandit with a dark cap drawn down over his forehead."

The total shadow that extends out into space from the night side of Earth is a slightly tapering cone. The partial shadow, or penumbra, is a slightly spreading cone. Earth did not...

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