Friday, December 9, 2011

Check Out Rare Full Lunar Eclipse Saturday Morning

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 9:09 AM

The year's final and, many experts say, best chance to see a lunar eclipse will occur early Saturday morning. But be warned, if you miss it, the next total lunar eclipse isn't set until April 2014.

For just under an hour, the moon will almost completely disappear, expected to turn a dark, dusty red. Depending on tomorrow's atmospheric conditions, astronomers said the moon may even turn a rich orange. The hue comes from sunlight bent by the Earth's atmosphere, and usually, most colors other than red are absorbed by the air.

Because the moon will be deep into the western horizon by the time of the eclipse, about 7:06 a.m., it will seem larger than usual to stargazers west of the Mississippi.

A lunar eclipse occurs when when the moon passes directly behind the Earth as seen from the sun (opposite of a solar eclipse, when the moon passes directly between the sun and Earth).

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