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Total lunar eclipse visible Tuesday, April 15
The first total eclipse of 2014 is a lunar one and also the same night the moon, Earth and Mars will all be aligned. Talk about an astronomical jackpot! This is also the closest Mars will be to Earth until May 22, 2016. So it will be the brightest and biggest until May 2016.
While Mars is a great treat by itself we also get to witness a full lunar eclipse that night.
Who gets to see it?
Almost all of North America will get to see the total lunar eclipse. The eclipse will be centered over the central and western U.S. but we still get the full eclipse here on most of the east coast. -- except for those in northern New England. Sorry!
Here are the times for the eclipse early on the morning of April 15.
- Eastern Daylight Time (April 15, 2014)
- Partial umbral eclipse begins: 1:58 a.m. EDT on April 15
- Total eclipse begins: 3:07 a.m. EDT
- Greatest eclipse: 3:46 a.m. EDT
- Total eclipse ends: 4:25 a.m. EDT
- Partial eclipse ends: 5:33 a.m. EDT
The moon will be rising in the east after sunset and moving across the southern sky. During the peak of the eclipse the moon will be in the southwestern sky around 3:30 a.m. to 5 a.m.
The moon will initially look grayer or darker as the moon passing into the area of less shadow called the Penumbra. For some in northern New England this is what they will mostly see. When the moon passes into the Earth s shadow completely or the Umbra it will take on a red tinge or color. Sometimes this is referred to as the Blood Moon. The red comes from the light of the sun refracting through our atmosphere similar to what happens at sunset and sunrise. If you were standing on the moon during the eclipse looking back towards the Earth you would see a ring of sunsets around the entire Earth. So the same reason we get red light at sunset and sunrise is why the moon looks red during an eclipse.
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