No special equipment is needed for you to enjoy the wonder of an eclipse. Tonight's total lunar eclipse will be visible from all parts of North America. Just look up!
For eager Moon watchers, the first faint shadow of the Earth will begin to darken the face of the Moon at 10:20 p.m. PDT. About 40 minutes later at 11 p.m., the deeper shadow of the Earth begins to take a "bite" out of the Moon's disk.
The main event begins in earnest just after midnight. At 12:07 a.m. PDT the disk of the Moon turns a reddish hue, which is what earns a total lunar eclipse the name "Blood Moon." During this phase, the Moon travels through the darkest part of the Earth's shadow.
The totality phase lasts for approximately one hour and 15 minutes until 1:25 a.m. PDT, when the Moon begins to move out of the Earth's shadow once again. The eclipse is complete a few hours later at 3:10 a.m.
If the weather in your stifles your viewing pleasure, don't worry! You'll have three other chances in 2014 and 2015 to see the show.
This total lunar eclipse is the first of four total lunar eclipses (which astronomers call a "tetrad") that will be visible over North America during the coming two years. So, if you miss the April 15, 2014, eclipse, mark your calendars for the evenings of October 8, 2014, April 4, 2015 and September 28, 2015.
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Marjorie Orr has an M.A. (Hons) in English Literature and Philosophy from Glasgow University, and was a current affairs journalist, award-winning BBC TV documentary producer and then a psychotherapist. She has a worldwide following for her astrology... read more