A new NASA ScienceCast video examines the red and turquoise colors sky watchers
can expect to see during the 2014 October 8, Total Lunar Eclipse.
(Image Source: NASA Science News)
By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower
A very colorful Total Eclipse of the Moon will be visible over the Americas, Australia, and most of Asia this morning (Wednesday Morning, 2014 October 8). An Eclipse of the Moon or Lunar Eclipse is the type of eclipse that is safe to watch with the naked-eye, binoculars, or a telescope, weather-permitting. Where the weather does not permit direct viewing, or for other parts of the world where the eclipse would not be visible in the sky, there will be several live video web-casts available for people to follow the event.
Officially, this morning's eclipse begins at 4:15 a.m. EDT / 8:15 UTC with the beginning of the hard-to see penumbral portion of the eclipse. It continues until the end of the second penumbral eclipse segment at 9:33 a.m. EDT / 13:33 UTC. For the eastern portion of North America, sunlight will brighten the sky before this eclipse ends. Here are the major events of the eclipse:
Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 4:15:33 a.m. EDT / 8:15:33 UTC
Partial Eclipse Begins: 5:14:48 a.m. EDT / 9:14:48 UTC
Total Eclipse Begins: 6:25:10 a.m. EDT / 10:25:10 UTC
Moon Phase - Full Moon: 6:51 a.m. EDT / 10:51 UTC
Greatest Eclipse: 6:54:36 a.m. EDT / 10:54:36 UTC
Total Eclipse Ends: 7:24:00 a.m. EDT / 11:24:00 UTC
Partial Eclipse Ends: 8:34:21 a.m. EDT / 12:34:21 UTC
Penumbral Eclipse Ends: 9:33:43 a.m. EDT / 13:33:43 UTC
This will be the second of four Total Lunar Eclipses, each one visible in at least part of the United States, over about a year and a-half, called a Tetrad of Total Lunar Eclipses. Lunar Eclipse Tetrads are sporadic and usually rare. There were no such Tetrads during the 300-year period of 1600 to 1900. However, this is the first of eight Tetrads in the 21st Century! The dates of the other three Total Lunar Eclipses of the current Tetrad are 2014 April 15, 2015 April 4, and 2015 September 28.
A Lunar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Moon is when the orbit of the Moon brings our natural satellite into the Earth's shadow, always near the time of a Full Moon. Unlike the Tetrad we are now experiencing, not all Lunar Eclipses are Total. Partial and Penumbral Lunar Eclipses also occur from time-to-time. However, all Total Lunar Eclipses include Partial and Penumbral phases of the Eclipse.
The October Full Moon is usually known as the Hunter's Moon, as it allowed hunters additional light for hunting as the Native Americans prepared for the Winter months. The Full Moon occurs this morning at 6:51 a.m. EDT / 10:51 UTC.
Often, particularly during the middle of a Total Eclipse of the Moon, the Moon will not disappear from view but can be seen with a reddish tint, what some call "blood red." If the Earth had no atmosphere, likely no sunlight would reach the Moon during a Total Lunar Eclipse, and the Moon might seem to disappear.
Although no direct sunlight reaches the Moon during a Total Lunar Eclipse, the Earth's atmosphere refracts the sunlight around our planet allowing a portion of the sunlight to continue to be transmitted to the Moon. However, the refracted light reaching the Moon is primarily in the red portion of the light spectrum, as with red-tinted sunrises and sunsets (during such a Total Lunar Eclipse, a person standing on the side of the Moon facing Earth could see all Earth sunrises and sunsets simultaneously, as they viewed the Earth in a Total Solar Eclipse !). Hence, it is red light that is reflected from the Moon back into your eyes during a Total Lunar Eclipse.
Web-Casts of the October 8 Total Lunar Eclipse:
Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles:
Link >>> http://new.livestream.com/GriffithObservatoryTV
PBS-TV Star Gazers from Reno: Link >>> http://www.ustream.tv/star-gazers-eclipse
Coca-Cola Space Science Center, Columbus GA: Link >>> http://www.ccssc.org/webcast.html
Slooh Community Observatory: Link >>> http://events.slooh.com/
More on the October 8 Total Lunar Eclipse ---
"Two Eclipses in One Month!!" - Blog of James Mullaney, former Buhl Planetarium Curator of Exhibits and Astronomy: Link >>> http://blog.scientificsonline.com/2014/09/two-eclipses-in-one-month/
"Colorful Lunar Eclipse" - NASA Science News:
Link >>> http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/18sep_lunareclipse/
October 8 Eclipse Details ---
Link 1 - NASA: >>> http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2014.html#LE2014Oct08T
Link 2 - Wikipedia.org : >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_2014_lunar_eclipse
More on Lunar Eclipses: >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_eclipse
Related Blog Posts ---
Total Lunar Eclipse Early Tue. Morning w/ Web-Cast (2014 April 14):
U.S. to See 4 Total Lunar Eclipses in Year & A-Half (2014 March 29):
Source: Glenn A. Walsh, Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
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