Total Eclipse of the Moon

Total Eclipse of the Moon
Asheville to see astronomical phenomenon on April 15

Photo by shahbasharat.
If you find yourself completing your tax return into the wee hours of the morning this April 15, don't fret--instead, step outdoors (weather permitting) and enjoy a beautiful view of the lunar eclipse.

Here are some details from the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute:
What causes an eclipse of the Moon, also called a lunar eclipse? As the Moon orbits the Earth, it comes to Full Moon once every 29½ days. Most months when this happens the Moon passes above or below the Earth’s shadow and we don’t have an eclipse. But twice per year (some years, three times), roughly six months apart, the Moon can pass through the Earth’s shadow and we have an eclipse. This is what is happening in the wee hours of April 15.
Here are the circumstances on that morning:
  • 12:54 a.m. EDT - Moon starts to enter the penumbra of the Earth’s shadow. This is extremely subtle and it will be about 30 minutes before anything is noticeable. 
  • 1:58 a.m. EDT - Moon starts to enter the umbra of the Earth’s shadow. Look for a "notch” in the left edge of the  Moon. 
  • 3:07 a.m. EDT - Moon is entirely in the umbra; totality begins. 
  • 4:25 a.m. EDT - Moon starts to leave the umbra; totality is over. 
  • 5:33 a.m. EDT - Moon is completely out of the umbra. Penumbral phase continues. 
  • 6:38 a.m. EDT - Moon is completely out of the penumbra. Eclipse is over!
It looks like another eclipse will come our way in October, but only half of that one will be visible before sunrise. That means you should catch it while you can next week!

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