Whether you heard Van read Herb Schwartz's e-mail this morning or not, here is the information that Herb gave us regarding next Tuesday morning's lunar eclipse!
Next week is a very busy week for astronomers. Early Tues AM is a total Lunar eclipse.@ I have included the timing.
This happens when the moon happens to go through the shadow of the earth.@ The Earths shadow is not black. Because of our atmosphere, the light from the sun is bent and scattered and turns a deep red.
The moon will turn this deep red as it moves into the deep shadow.
Also next week is a Mars opposition.@ This means that the Earth, Sun and Mars are lined up in what astronomers call a syzygy. (Astronomers wanted to make sure that they won scrabble when they used this word). Also next week Mars will be its closest to the earth.@@It will be about 57 million miles away at this point.@ It will still look like a bright point of light with a slightly reddish hue to it.@ It is visible now in the night sky.@ Just look for a bright, very@slightly red@"star" in the south eastern sky around 9.@ It will out show anything in that part of the sky.@ It will be one of the objects we will be looking at during the Spring Lecture series at Drake Observatory.@ Jupiter is the very bright object low in the western sky at about the same time.@ At this point I'm not sure if Drake will have the observatory open next Tues. AM for the Eclipse.
Here are the times for the eclipse:
The moon will enter the light shadow at 11:55 PM on April 14th.@ You may not even notice this.
The moon will start to enter the deep shadow at 1:00 AM on April 15th.@ You will notice a bite being taken out of the Moon.@ This "bite" will get bigger and bigger as time goes on.
The moon will be entirely in the deep shadow at about 2:08 AM.@ The moon is now a deep red.
The moon will begin to leave the deep shadow at 3:23 AM.@ You will see a part of the moon getting light.
The moon will entirely leave the deep shadow at about 4:30.
The eclipse will end about 5:30 AM.