Blood Moon Coming

Monday night, April 14th, there will be a Total Eclipse of the Moon. An eclipse of the moon happens when the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. This event is sometimes called a Blood Moon. During totality the color of the moon will appear  “blood red.” This effect is caused  by the sun’s rays passing through the Earth’s atmosphere at the edge of the Earth. The blue rays are deflected up and away from the Earth while the red rays are bent and focus on the Moon. During a total lunar eclipse the Moon may look three dimensional. This is because of the shading of the moon. The center may appear slightly brighter and the edges darker. This makes the Moon look like a red rubber ball hanging in the sky.

You will hear a lot of reports saying that the eclipse will be an hour long. That is not really correct. Totality will last for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The entire eclipse from first contact (penumbra) to the Moon’s exit on the other side of Earth’s shadow will take a total of 5 and 1/2 hours. Totality is really just the middle part of the eclipse.

You don’t want to miss Monday’s eclipse. This will be the best Lunar eclipse until January 2019. The 2019 eclipse will be cold and may be covered by clouds or fog here in the valley.

For more details, times and a simulation of Monday’s eclipse, click the link here. http://tulareastro.org/events/eclipse-party/

After the eclipse feel free to post you comments here. Tell us what you observed and how you watched it. If you take any pictures, send them to me at (president@tulareastro.org)  and I will upload them for you.

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Author


Greg Eckes

President

I am a retired music teacher. I make custom violins and violas. I play violin in the Tulare County Symphony and fiddle in the Tule River Bluegrass Band. I like camping and astronomy.

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