Sky gazers will have a fun time on Tuesday (April 15) when the Utahns will have a celestial encounter with this year’s first lunar eclipse.
The Americans are fortunate enough to witness this year’s first lunar eclipse when the moon will be eclipsed by Earth’s shadow.
According to the scientists, the total lunar eclipse will be visible across the Western Hemisphere. The celestial event will begin at 12:06 a.m. (Arizona time) and last for 78 minutes, i.e.it will end at 1:24 a.m.
“These eclipses are quite striking due to the moon’s vibrant red color during the total phase called totality. It is not to be missed,” said Ann House, vice president of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society.
The moon will be rising in the western Pacific. Therefore, the region can only witness half of the eclipse. European and Africans may face disappointment as the moon has nothing to offer for them.
During the eclipse, the moon is covered by the Earth’s shadow. But it appears a bit colorful with some shade of red or orange. The colour of the moon during the eclipse is due to the light around the edges of the Earth.
The Salt Lake Astronomical Society has organized two watch parties during the eclipse. Anyone who wish to witness the celestial event should look to the sky starting on Monday at 11:58 p.m. The moon will move closest to the center of the Earth’s shadow at 1:46 a.m. and totality will end at 2:25 a.m. The moon will be clear of the Earth’s shadow at 3:33 a.m., according to Seth Jarvis, director of Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City.
“While lunar eclipses are always interesting, this ‘bloody moon’ happens just a week after Mars is in opposition to Earth. Viewers will be treated to the red color the moon takes on when in Earth’s shadow, with the red planet adjacent to the moon,” Jarvis said.
On April 29, the Southern Hemisphere will be treated to a rare type of solar eclipse.
Scientists have predicted four eclipses this year, two lunar and two solar.
The coming lunar eclipse may pose threat to NASA spacecraft, LADEE, that has been circling the moon, probing the lunar surface. But scientists are not in great worry as the mission approaches end.