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Don’t Miss the Lunar Eclipse

People across most of North America and Europe, a large part of Africa, and all of South America will be able to follow the total lunar eclipse this Sunday night and Monday morning. The earth will move directly between the sun and the moon, throwing a shadow across the moon. The eclipse will start at 9:07 PM for those living in the Eastern time zone, and reached full eclipse at 10:11. The moon will begin to emerge again at 11:23 Eastern and the shadow will be gone at 12:27 AM.

When the Moon is fully eclipsed it usually turns red, though sometimes the effect is more subtle than other times. This is because from the Moon’s point of view the Earth is blocking the Sun, and sunlight gets filtered through the thin layer of Earth’s atmosphere, reddening it. If you were standing on the Moon, it’s like you’re seeing every sunrise and sunset on Earth all at once!

Dr. Phil Plait has more on the coming lunar eclipse, and a video that explains eclipses in general, at Bad Astronomy.

(Image credit: NASA/Fred Espenak)


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