Home Weather Corner From the Bateson Observatory: Full Lunar Eclipse Tuesday Morning

From the Bateson Observatory: Full Lunar Eclipse Tuesday Morning

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On Monday night and early Tuesday morning, April 14th and 15th, Lassen County residents will have a great view of a neat celestial performance as the moon slips into the Earth’s shadow during the first total lunar eclipse visible here since 2011. Spectators in North America, South America, Australia and a wide swath of the Pacific Ocean will get a front row seat for the eclipse.

All times are local to Susanville and Pacific DST

10:20p.m. The outer edge of the Earth’s shadow begins to affect the moon’s brightness gradually reducing the amount of light reflecting off the lunar surface.

10:58p.m. The lunar spectacle begins in earnest as the actual shadow of our planet falls on the moon creating a distinct orange and black shadow that creeps slowly across the face of the moon. The greater the area covered by earth’s shadow the less light reflects on our atmosphere and at this point observers will begin to notice stars that are not usually visible and a gradual darkening.

12:07a.m. Beginning of total eclipse. Despite the being completely in the shadow of the Earth the moon doesn’t simply go dark but instead will be dimly lit by an orange glow as light refracts around our planet. At totality a person standing on the lunar surface would being seeing a bright crimson ring featuring every sunrise and sunset on the earth’s surface. 

12:46a.m. The total eclipse will last for precisely 1 hour and 18 minutes, with the peak at 12:46a.m. After this point the process reverses and the moon gradually moves out from the earth’s shadow.

The next lunar eclipse will fall on October 8th of this year and will be visible again here in Susanville.

Aligning his camera on the same star for nine successive exposures, Sky & Telescope contributing photographer Akira Fujii captured this record of the Moon’s progress dead center through the Earth’s shadow in July 2000. ~ Akira Fujii
Aligning his camera on the same star for nine successive exposures, Sky & Telescope contributing photographer Akira Fujii captured this record of the Moon’s progress dead center through the Earth’s shadow in July 2000. ~ Akira Fujii

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