Total Lunar Eclipse 14-15 April 2014

Observers from the Atlantic coast across the Americas to the far side of the Pacific Ocean will be able to observe a total lunar eclipse on Monday night, 14-15 April 2014.

During the eclipse the moon will pass through Earth’s shadow. An outer zone, called the penumbra, is only “lightly” shadowing the moon. You can’t see that portion, called the penumbral eclipse, except for a few minutes before the partial eclipse begins and a few minutes after the partial eclipse ends.

The main show begins with the partial eclipse. During the partial eclipse more and more of the moon enters (and later exits) the deep shadow cast by the Earth, called the umbra. The disk of the moon in the umbra gets very dark while the portion outside the umbra stays quite bright.

The total eclipse begins when the whole disk of the moon is inside the umbra and lasts for 1 hour 18 minutes. During this period the moon can have a range of colors, spanning deep grey (or invisible, sometimes) to bright orange.

Astronomer Stephen Edberg captured this eclipse sequence in 2007.

Astronomer Stephen Edberg captured this eclipse sequence in 2007.

Exact event times for your city can be calculated at http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/LunarEclipse.html.

This is an event for the naked eye and binoculars if desired. Wear clothing suitable for nighttime weather. A chair, lounge, or mattress and a blanket or sleeping bag will make observing more comfortable if you stay out for most of the event.

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