Everything You Need To Know About This Weekend’s Lunar Eclipse

  • When: Sunday Night
  • Key Times:
    8:10 PM The Moon will be entering penumbra which is the partially shaded region.
    9:07 PM Umbra or fully shaded inner region of the shadow.
    10:11 PM  Totality begins which is the moment of total obscuration of the moon.
    11:24 PM The moon will leave the umbra or fully shaded inner region of the shadow.
    1:24 AM  Moon will leave penumbra or partially shaded region.lunar_eclipse_graphic
    Total-Lunar-Eclipse-in-Athens
  • What Is a Lunar Eclipse?  A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes direct behind the earth’s shadow.    It occurs when the sun, earth, and moon are aligned.
    944px-Geometry_of_a_Lunar_Eclipse.svg
  • What It Will Look Like:  The shadow on the moon cast by the earth, will appear a brownish red color.  Some refer to the event as a Blood Moon, most likely because of the color displayed.
    blood-moon
  • Super Moon:  Not only do we get to experience a lunar eclipse Sunday, but the moon is also at perigee. That means the moon is at its closest to the earth all year. It will appear slightly larger during this phase than it would at apogee when the moon is farthest away from earth.  Just in case you’re wondering, the average distance from earth to the moon is 237,700 miles.  During the super moon (perigee) we also experience the highest and lowest tides of the year. Here’s the difference in observed size between apogee and perigee.
    apogee_perigee
  • September’s full moon is named the Harvest Moon.  It’s not just an opportunity to play some good Neil Young music, it’s also the time of year Native Americans harvested corn.  Here’s more info from our friends at The Farmers Almanac.  You can read more about full moon names here.
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    Based on today’s forecast we should get good weather conditions for viewing the lunar eclipse. Some high thin clouds may get into northern New England at some point Sunday night, but most of that should hold off until Monday morning.  If you get any good photos of the eclipse,  and you’d like to share, I’d love to see them. You can send them to me via facebook, twitter, or email. Good luck and happy viewing!

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Charlie Lopresti

About Charlie Lopresti

Charlie makes up the "Weather Part" of CBS News 13s evening edition. A native New Englander, he grew up enjoying the area's exciting and sometimes wild weather.