Huffpost Science

First Lunar Eclipse Of 2014 To Provide Show For Skywatchers In Americas

Posted: Updated:
LUNAR ECLIPSE
This combo shows the moon entering a total eclipse as seen in Hong Kong on December 10, 2011. | ANTONY DICKSON via Getty Images
Print

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — North and South America, get ready for the first eclipse of the year— in color.

Next Tuesday morning, the moon will be eclipsed by Earth's shadow. This total lunar eclipse will be visible across the Western Hemisphere. The total phase will last 78 minutes, beginning at 3:06 a.m. EDT and ending at 4:24 a.m. EDT.

The moon will be rising in the western Pacific, and so only the last half of the eclipse will be visible there. In much of Europe and Africa, the moon will be setting, so there won't be much, if anything, to see.

Even though the moon is in the Earth's shadow, it should appear a bit colorful, some shade of red or orange. That's from light around the edges of the Earth — essentially sunrises and sunsets — splashing on the lunar surface and faintly lighting up the moon, said Alan MacRobert, senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine.

On April 29, the Southern Hemisphere will be treated to a rare type of solar eclipse.

In all, four eclipses will occur this year, two lunar and two solar.

Tuesday's lunar eclipse may damage a NASA spacecraft that's been circling the moon since fall. But no worries: it's near the end of its mission.

The robotic orbiter LADEE (LA'-dee) was never designed to endure a lengthy eclipse. Scientists don't know if it will withstand the prolonged cold of the hours-long eclipse.

Even if it freezes up, LADEE will crash into the far side of the moon the following week as planned, after successfully completing its science mission. In an online contest, NASA is asking the public to guess the impact time. Scientists expect LADEE's doomsday to occur on or before April 21.

LADEE stands for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer. The science-collecting portion of the mission went into overtime at the beginning of March.

___

Online:

NASA: http://1.usa.gov/NFJLGE

LADEE: http://www.nasa.gov/LADEE/

Also on HuffPost:

Close
Our Moon
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Total lunar eclipse "blood moon" visible from metro Detroit on April 15

North and South America get front-row seat for 1st eclipse of the year next ...

Get Ready for the April 15, 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse: Our Complete Guide

Star Gazers – “The Tax Day Lunar Eclipse″ – (April 6-13, 2014)

2014 Lunar Eclipse: How and Where To Best View Total Lunar Eclipse on April 15

Total Lunar Eclipse and Solar 'Ring of Fire' Top April's Stargazing Events

April 2014 lunar eclipse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NASA - Eclipses During 2014 - NASA Eclipse Web Site

Apr 15, 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse - Time and Date

Watch a total lunar eclipse April 15 | Astronomy.com

Blood moon eclipse on April 15 is a special event - USA Today

Total lunar eclipse for the Americas on night of April 14-15 - EarthSky