We’ve all seen lunar eclipses before. But, the one on Wednesday morning could be an incredibly rare sighting for many of you. On October 8, some of you will be able to witness the total eclipse of the moon and the rising sun at the same time. This effect is called a ‘selenelion.’
During a total lunar eclipse, the sun and moon are exactly 180 degrees apart in the sky. So, how could we see both? We can thank the Earth’s atmosphere for that. The moon and sun appear will appear slightly above the horizon at the same time thanks to atmospheric refraction.
Your window for viewing both will be tight, though. You probably have about 2-10 minutes depending on where you live to spot the rare phenomenon.
Places east of the Mississippi River have the best chance at spotting both in the sky. Weather will also need to be on your side.
On the west coast, the entire lunar eclipse will be visible.
Check out the image below (courtesy of Sky & Telescope Magazine) to see what portion of the lunar eclipse will be visible in your area.
Send me your photos of Wednesday’s lunar eclipse and we’ll post the best ones later in the week. I’ll be out Wednesday morning to see if I can spot the ‘selenelion.’
Image credit: Sky & Telescope Magazine