How to see the total lunar eclipse from the Bay Area

How to see the total lunar eclipse from the Bay Area

A total lunar eclipse or “blood moon” will be visible over the world early Tuesday morning, and there is a chance that stargazers in the Bay area will be able to see it with their own eyes – weather permitting.

The phenomenon occurs when the Earth aligns with the sun and casts a shadow over the moon. That causes the moon’s surface to appear a ruddy, red-orange color, as atmospheric refraction bends the red hues of the sun’s light, allowing them to illuminate the moon, Elinor Gates, a staff astronomer at the Lick Observatory at Mount Mt. Hamilton, SFGATE on Sunday.

It is the second total lunar eclipse this year and won’t happen again until 2025.

“These events are great because you don’t need a telescope to see them,” Gates said. “A lunar eclipse is very slow. You can go outside, take a look and come back in when it gets cold. All you need is a clear sky, and it helps not to have too many city lights around so you can appreciate it properly.”

In Californiathe totality of the eclipse — or the peak phase when Earth completely covers the moon — begins at 2:16 a.m. and ends at 3:41 a.m., Gates said, but it will become partially visible as early as midnight.

“You’ll see that instead of a full moon, part of the moon won’t be as visible,” Gates said. “It gets fainter and you’ll see a crescent moon instead as the moon begins to move in Earth’s shadow.”

The deep red hue that slowly appears over the moon is caused by dust, volcanic ash and pollution in Earth’s atmosphere — the more there is, the redder the moon will appear during the eclipse. But how observable the event will be remains to be seen.

“I’d say it’s going to be tough with the weather system coming through in the next few days,” Roger Gass, a National Weather Service meteorologist, told SFGATE on Sunday. “Unfortunately, I don’t believe we’ll see much of a cloud break in the state of California.”

However, it may still be worth taking a look. Unlike other parts of the world, the solar eclipse is expected to be observable from end to end on the west coast without disturbances.

“The moon will be deepest in shadow and darkest at 2:59 a.m.,” Ben Burress, a staff astronomer for Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, wrote for KQED on Thursday. “If you only want to wake up for a few moments to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse, now is the time to set your alarm.”

The educational center plans to host a total lunar eclipse party Monday evening from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., with a live presentation led by astronomer Gerald McKeegan at midnight. A partial eclipse can be seen until 5:56 a.m.

“You don’t have to go far,” Gates said. “If you don’t have too many trees or streetlights, most people can see it from their backyard.”

#total #lunar #eclipse #Bay #Area

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *