Want to watch the upcoming lunar eclipse? The livestream above from the Slooh Community Observatory will be covering this “blood moon” event, so-called because of the shade of reddish hue the moon will take on.
The livestream above is a great way to see the lunar eclipse if you live in an area with a lot of cloud cover, or with an obstructed view of the night sky. Slooh will also be covering this event on their iPad app.
You can view the April 15 lunar eclipse starting from 12:54 AM. The eclipse will continue through 6:38 AM (all times Eastern.) According to Time and Date, the total lunar eclipse will be visible from the following locations: “West in Europe, South/East Asia, Much of Australia, Much of Africa, Much of North America, Much of South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Antarctica.”
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Moon and the Sun. When this happens, the Earth cases a shadow, which then blocks our view of the moon.
According to NASA, the “total” part of the eclipse will last for 78 minutes. This is the first lunar eclipse of 2014.
NASA adds that during the darkest part of the eclipse, skygazers will be able to see a number of constellations quite clearly. They are, as follows:
“Spica (m = +1.05) is the most conspicuous star lying just 2° west of the eclipsed Moon. This juxtaposition reminds the author of the total lunar eclipse of 1968 Apr 13 when Spica appeared only 1.3° southwest of the Moon at mid-totality. The brilliant blue color of Spica made for a striking contrast with the crimson Moon. Just a week past opposition, Mars (m = -1.4) appears two magnitudes brighter than Spica and lies 9.5° northwest of the Moon. Arcturus (m = +0.15) is 32° to the north, Saturn (m = +0.2) is 26° to the east, and Antares (m = +1.07) is 44° to the southeast.”
Above, you can see a time-lapse of a “blood moon” eclipse from June 15, 2011.
Only want to watch the “peak” of the eclipse? Business Insider has a handy chart on what time you should look skyward, based on your geographic location.
The next lunar eclipse visible in North America will be on October 8. The next major celestial event is a solar eclipse on April 29, which will be visible in the Asia-Australia-Pacfic region.
Moon Connection notes that there is a reason we see more lunar eclipses than solar eclipses:
“The Moon is much closer to the Earth (well over 300 times closer than the Sun!), so the Earth has a much greater chance of blocking sunlight to the Moon, compared to the Moon blocking light from the Sun. Also, a lunar eclipse can be seen from a greater portion of the Earth. Solar eclipses, on the other hand, are more rare and when they do happen can only be seen by a very narrow segment of people on Earth, for a short period of time. “
One final note: unlike solar eclipses, which should never be viewed without eye protection, the lunar eclipse is completely safe to view with the naked eye.
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April 2014 has a ton of astronomy events to look forward to. If you want to learn more about astronomy, these iPhone and Android apps are top choices.Click here to read more