In the early hours of the morning Tuesday, Nov. 8, we will be able to see a total lunar eclipse — which is when the sun, Earth and moon are aligned, with Earth in the middle. Earth’s shadow falls on the moon, and the moon then appears to have a red tint to it.
So, when is this expected to happen? Well, pretty late (or early, depending on how you look at time) in the evening Monday night, and into Tuesday morning. Here are the details:Read more
What is a Total Lunar Eclipse?
A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth, and moon align so that the moon passes into Earth’s shadow, according to NASA. In a total lunar eclipse, the entire Moon falls within the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra.
When the Moon is within the umbra, it will turn a reddish hue. Lunar eclipses are sometimes called “Blood Moons” because of this phenomenon.
You don’t need any special equipment to observe a lunar eclipse, although binoculars or a telescope will enhance the view and the red color. A dark environment away from bright lights makes for the best viewing conditions.
The Lunar Eclipse Schedule
The good news is that if you do plan to stay up late or get up early to watch the eclipse, the skies in Huntsville are supposed to be pretty clear early in the morning.
According to NASA, here is the schedule for the eclipse:
|2:02 a.m.||Penumbral eclipse begins||The Moon enters the Earth’s penumbra, the outer part of the shadow. The Moon begins to dim, but the effect is quite subtle.|
|3:09 a.m.||Partial eclipse begins||The Moon begins to enter Earth’s umbra and the partial eclipse begins. To the naked eye, as the Moon moves into the umbra, it looks like a bite is being taken out of the lunar disk. The part of the Moon inside the umbra will appear very dark.|
|4:17 a.m.||Totality begins||The entire Moon is now in the Earth’s umbra. The Moon will turn a coppery-red. Try binoculars or a telescope for a better view. If you want to take a photo, use a camera on a tripod with exposures of at least several seconds.|
|5:42 a.m.||Totality ends||As the Moon exits Earth’s umbra, the red color fades. It will look as if a bite is being taken out of the opposite side of the lunar disk as before.|
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