Backyard astronomers and public observatories across America will have telescopes trained on a total lunar eclipse Wednesday as the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon in a rare celestial event.
The Sun, Earth and Moon will align forcing our home planet to block the Sun's rays from reaching our lunar neighbor. The full Moon will take on an eerie reddish glow as the light is scattered through our atmosphere giving it the name Blood Moon.
Along the eastern coast of the U.S., the Moon will begin to set just after 7:10 a.m. EDT, providing three hours of lunar observation prior to Moon set in many areas. Clear to partly cloudy skies are also in the forecast for much of the United States.
towards the west and you will
see the full moon with a bite taken out of it - this is the lunar
eclipse in progress," Atlanta's Tellus Science Museum astronomer David Dundee said on Monday. "Wednesday morning the Moon will enter the shadow of
the Earth. By 6:24 a.m., the Moon will be totally in the shadow of the
Earth it may turn a copper or reddish color.“
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center released an astronomers information sheet in support of times and locations to best view the second lunar eclipse of 2014. The space agency will host an online discussion and provide live video of the eclipse beginning at 3:00 a.m. and continuing until sunrise. NASA lunar experts will reach out to chat on social media as they seek reports from the public and lunar photography.
Several observatory's and museums will open before dawn to mark the occasion. Children waiting in line at the bus stop may have the chance to view the astronomical show.
the eclipse begins a little after 4 a.m., we are hoping guests will join
us at the museum before work or school for this magnificent opportunity
a Total Lunar Eclipse in a fun and unique way," Tellus spokesperson Shelly Redd said on Monday. "The museum opens at 5:00 a.m. and will remain open after the eclipse is complete."
(Charles Atkeison reports on aerospace, science and technology. Follow his updates via Twitter @AbsolutSpaceGuy.)