Some of you will want to set your alarm clock to see Saturday’s total lunar eclipse. Before the sun rises on April 4th, the moon will just barely be completely inside the Earth’s shadow.
In fact, you may think it’s not a total eclipse. The northeastern part of the moon will barely be inside the umbra of Earth’s shadow. The umbra is the deepest part of the shadow. If you see the lunar eclipse on Saturday morning, the northeastern part of the moon might appear much brighter than the deep red across the rest of the moon.
Sky & Telescope and Johnny Horne illustrate this perfectly in a long-exposure image from a lunar eclipse in October 2014. The right sliver of the moon hasn’t entered Earth’s umbra yet. A similar picture will be possible in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday.
Sky & Telescope explains what gives the moon its orange and red glow during a lunar eclipse.
That red light shining onto the Moon is sunlight that has skimmed and bent through Earth’s atmosphere: that is, from all the sunrises and sunsets that ring the world at any given moment.
Can You See the Lunar Eclipse?
Only a small part of the world will see the entire eclipse. Parts of Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Russia and Alaska will see the entire eclipse. All of New Zealand and Hawaii will also see the entire eclipse.
A good portion of the western U.S. will see parts of the lunar eclipse. Check out the map (from Sky & Telescope) below to see what parts of the lunar eclipse will be visible from where you live.
Next Lunar Eclipse
The next lunar eclipse will happen on September 28, 2015. A total lunar eclipse will be visible for large parts of the U.S., Canada, Africa and Europe. All of South America, Greenland and Iceland will see the whole show. Here’s an image from Time and Date showing where September’s lunar eclipse will be visible from.
Circle August 21, 2017
This is the date I can’t wait for. A total solar eclipse cutting across the entire U.S. For many, it will be the first time they’ve ever seen a solar eclipse. And, it promises to be a good show. Just look at the totality (red line indicating a total solar eclipse) line below.
Won’t be able to watch Saturday’s eclipse? Slooh has you covered. Several folks at Slooh will be on hand to discuss the lunar eclipse, plus live feeds from multiple areas around the world.