Monday, April 14, 2014

What Time is Tonight's Total Lunar Eclipse?

People living in North America and much of South America will tonight be able to see a total lunar eclipse (weather permitting). At around 2 am (EDT) the moon will pass through the Earth's shadow and you will be able to see a gorgeous red moon.

Totality will occur in a 78 minute period beginning at about 3 am on the east coast and midnight on the west coast. You can find out the exact time of totality for your location by using Heywhatsthat's Lunar Eclipse Map.

The Lunar Eclipse Map uses two Google Earth plugin maps, viewed side by side. Click on your location on the left-hand map (or share your location when asked). The right-hand map shows the position of the moon during tonight's eclipse. You can use the time control beneath the map to find out when totality occurs.

In the right-hand map you will see the moon passing over two large circles. The outer circle is the Earth's penumbra and the inner circle is the Earth's umbra. When the moon passes through the Earth's penumbra you will see a partial eclipse and totality will occur when the moon passes through the Earth's umbra.

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