This Saturday will bring to us the shortest lunar eclipse of the century, which NASA estimates will only last about 5 minutes. So if you want to have a good chance of seeing the moon rising, you must be very quick, otherwise you’ll miss it.
If weather will cooperate with eager early-risers, they should be able to witness at least a partial lunar eclipse on April 4, which will be visible just before the sun rises. Around 7:58 a.m. EDT, West Coasters might have a pretty good chance of also seeing the moon’s strange shade of red while approaching totality.
Once again, stargazers from other parts of the global are more fortunate and their chances of catching a good image of the lunar eclipse are a lot better. Sky & Telescope stated that observers from Southeast Asia, China, Japan, and Australia will have the best “seats in the house”.
Will Gater, astronomer at the online Slooh Community Observatory, gave a statement encouraging people who live in less fortunate location to not lose hope, as such total lunar eclipses are usually caught on camera around the world, some of which will even broadcast it live. So you still have a chance to be a witness, by starting your day with an incredibly ethereal live event.
Slooh has already announced a live webcast on the Slooh.com website, and you can tune in starting 6 a.m. EDT on Saturday, April 4. According to NASA reports, Saturday will mark the third of a lunar eclipse tetrad. First and second sky events happened on April and September 2014, respectively, and the tetrad will come full circle on September 28.
NASA officials have explained the “blood moon” phenomenon in a statement, saying that the color is an effect of sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere – filtering most of the blue light, the remaining one casts a reddish color. Hence, the “blood moon” nickname, which in fact isn’t as graphic as it sounds.
The joy of lunar eclipses is that they can be witnessed from any location on Earth that has proper weather conditions that allow viewers to see the moon. Total solar eclipses, on the other hand – like the one form March 20, 2015 – are more exclusive, depending on which way Earth, sun, and moon align.
Image Source: The Oslo Times