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Mark Your Calendars: Lunar Eclipse Slated to Occur Oct. 8

3 Oct 2014, 4:54 pm

lunar_eclipse
Photo credit: NASA

Forget the supermoon, the next lunar event will be a full-on blood moon. Don’t worry, it’s not as nefarious as it sounds. The blood moon is the result of a total lunar eclipse that will happen on Oct. 8, right before sunrise in North America.

According the space.com, this is the second of four total lunar eclipses that will happen in 2014 and 2015.

NASA says the lunar eclipse will begin at 6:25 a.m. EDT and last until 7:24 a.m. Most people in North America will be able to see the eclipse, but those living out west — weather permitting of course — will have the best view.

North America won’t be the only continent to get a glimpse of the unusual sight, stargazers as far away as Australia and China will also be able to see the eclipse.

What Causes a Lunar Eclipse?

Lunar_eclipse_sideview_v01
Photo credit: NASA

In a nutshell, it has to do with the placement of the full moon, the Earth and the Sun. More specifically, the Earth must be located perfectly between the sun and the moon. Since the moon reflects the sun’s light, when Earth perfectly orbits through the sun-moon plane, it will cast a shadow on the moon.

Even though the shadow of the Earth fully envelops the moon, light from the sun is scattered and refracted through the Earth’s atmosphere. That scattered and reflected light bathes the moon in a red color, hence the name “blood moon.”

Another interesting factoid: The Earth actually casts two shadows. Space.com explains, “Earth casts two shadows that fall on the moon during a lunar eclipse: The umbra is a full, dark shadow. The penumbra is a partial outer shadow.”

Since the Earth only perfectly enters the full moon-sun plane every so often, lunar eclipses aren’t all that common.

So, set your alarm clocks on Oct, 8. It looks like an incredible display of nature is ahead.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

One response to “Mark Your Calendars: Lunar Eclipse Slated to Occur Oct. 8

  1. Just hope WeatherNation doesn’t follow suit of others by participating in the idiotic fad of naming winter storms; its ridiculous. THANKS

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