Brace yourself Sky gazers! Total Eclipse of Moon on April 4th- NASA reports
Believe it or not, but for the third time in less than 12 months U.S. sky gazers will be able to witness a total eclipse of the Moon.
On April 4th at 3:16 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, this eclipse starts its course when the edge of the Moon penetrates the amber core of the Earth’s shadow for the first time. For the next 1 hour and 45 minutes the Earth’s shadow will travel across the lunar disk, eventually covering the whole Moon at 4:58 am PDT.
The eclipse will be disrupted by the sunrise in the East of the Mississippi River, where only partial eclipse can be seen. The ones on the west side will be able to see it all, including totality. “Totality” refers when the Moon is entirely inside Earth’s shadow. There are some total eclipses which have been known to last longer than an hour, also this time the span is of 4 minutes and 43 seconds only. The reason being the Moon is sailing on the edge of the Earth’s shadow instead of passing centrally through it.
This briefness of the eclipse emphasizes the importance of being alert if you want to witness the event of seeing the red Moon, so be outside before 4:58 a.m. PDT.
One may wonder why the Moon will be red. Well from the Moon right at that moment, the Earth is overhanging, night side down, fully concealing the sun behind it. The eclipse is on progress. We may think the Earth is absolutely dark but instead from the Moon, the Earth’s circumference is seeing every sunrise and sunset that is taking place, all at once. This light beams into the heart of the Earth’s shadow, filling it with a coppery glow, and changing the moon into a red orbit when looked at from Earth.
This total eclipse on April 4th will be the third of the total four that has taken place in a period of 6 months, a phenomenon referred to as “tetrad” by astronomers. This kind of a close by event of eclipses is quite rare.
So if you want to experience this unique event, then wake up before sunrise, and have a great time gazing at the sky.