Dennis Mammana: Lunar Eclipse Not a Cosmic Cover-Up

Image Credit:astronomymagazine

Eclipses fascinate me. An eclipse is one of the rare celestial events where we can perceive the movement of our skies, and it is not only entertaining to watch.

If you're as fascinated as I am by these cosmic happenings, make plans to be outside on Sunday, May 15. You say you've already made alternative plans?

Break them all! This dramatic total lunar eclipse in the evening will not be missed!

As the moon's eastern edge gradually slips into the Earth's dark inner shadow — the umbra — the cosmic coverup officially begins at 7:27 p.m. PDT

 The moon will be rather high in the southeastern sky for much of North America at that time

but, some on the West Coast of North America may observe the moon rising over the horizon with the spectacle well underway.

The moon will darken over the next hour or two as it moves deeper into the umbra of our earth, until it is entirely eclipsed around 8:29 p.m. PDT.

The eclipsed moon may take on a unique coppery tint during totality. 

Because sunlight passing through our atmosphere is reddened and bent inward toward the darkening surface of the earth, it takes on this tint.

The colour of our planet's atmosphere at the time sunlight passes through it determines how red and black it appears

The completely eclipsed moon can be practically any colour, ranging from bright orange to dark brown, or it might be completely invisible.

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