A moderately rare “super blood moon” lunar eclipse will be viewable in the sky tonight for those living in North and South America. However, the word “super” should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. It’ll be slightly larger than average because of its position in orbit, but you probably won’t notice the difference. What you will notice is the reddish color.
Here’s the schedule for Americans again. For most of the country, the moon will be low above the eastern horizon. For people in Colorado, it’ll be in eclipse when it rises. It’ll begin to move into the earth’s shadow at 9:07 P.M. Eastern Time. The eclipse will begin with a bite out of its lower left side.
Note: The previous paragraph should have said “west of Colorado” instead of “in Colorado.”
It’ll take just over an hour for the moon to pass completely into earth’s shadow, and its last sliver will slip into darkness at 10:11. It’ll stay dark for more than an hour; then start to lighten again at 11:23, and be completely out of earth’s shadow at 27 minutes after midnight. Don’t forget to adjust for your time zone.
People in Europe and Africa can see the eclipse in the early hours after midnight.
A blood moon is a special lunar eclipse. It happens when Earth completely blocks sunlight from reaching the moon except for a ring of light refracting through the atmosphere. Instead of going dark, the moon is lit by that refracted light that leaks around the planet, essentially reflecting all of Earth’s sunsets and sunrises onto the surface of the moon at once and giving it its reddish color.
A super moon is when the moon is nearest Earth in its orbit, so it appears as much as 14% larger in area than average. When the two events happen together, we call it a super blood moon lunar eclipse.
See my previous post here for more info.
If you miss it for any reason, you can view it here later: Video: Missed the Blood Moon? Watch the Event Unfold Through NASA’s Footage.
The next total lunar eclipse won’t happen until January 2018.
- Bill’s Blog