On April 4, lucky skywatchers can enjoy a total eclipse of the Moon at their breakfast table. Visible across the Pacific and parts of North and South America, this is the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2015. Slooh will broadcast the eclipse live on April 4 from multiple sites across the world, while celebrating the event with a hearty ‘Breakfast on the Moon.’
During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth passes between the Moon and Sun and the Moon passes into the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow. But the Moon doesn’t completely go dark. That’s because the Sun’s light is refracted and scattered forward through our atmosphere and onto the Moon’s surface. Red light scatters least, so the Moon often takes on a striking dull red or copper color during totality. In a sense, all the Earth’s sunsets are scattered onto the face of the Full Moon.
As lunar eclipses go, this one is unusual because totality lasts just under five minutes, from 11:58 UT to just past 12:02 UT. Many total lunar eclipses last an hour or more. The Earth’s partial shadow on the Moon will be visible for nearly three hours before and after totality.
This is the third eclipse of a tetrad, a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses over two years. The first two were on April 15 and October 8 of 2014, and the last will happen later this year on September 28, 2015.
Observers in the eastern half of Australia and all of New Zealand and Hawaii can see the entire eclipse. In western North America, the total eclipse will be visible in the pre-dawn sky but the Moon will set before the eclipse ends. Observers in eastern North America and most of South America will see the Moon set before the eclipse reaches totality.
Join Slooh’s Bob Berman, Will Gater, and Eric Edelman as they discuss and marvel over live feeds of the lunar eclipse live on April 4 from multiple sites across the world.