In the hours before local sunrise time or moonset time on October 8th the full Moon, at its descending node, passes through the Earth’s shadow for a total eclipse of our Moon. Beginning at approximately 3:15 am CDT the Moon enters the fainter outer penumbral shadow but the eclipse will not really be noticeable until about an hour later as the Moon starts moving into the darker inner umbral shadow. Then for about the next hour the Moon grows darker and perhaps takes on a reddish color as it traverses the umbral shadow. The total stage of the eclipse comes to an end as the leading edge of the Moon leaves the umbral shadow.This particular lunar eclipse will be seen across most of the United States with the western half in a more favorable viewing loaction as the time for sunrise is around the time that the Moon exits the umbral shadow.
To determine how much of the eclipse will be visible from your location check for your local time of sunrise and then compare that with the times for the various stages during the lunar eclipse. From my location in the mid-west of the United States, (94oW), the Sun rises at approximately 7:10 am CDT with the totality stage of the eclipse will just have ended as the sky brightens with the Sun rising in the east.
A Blood Moon
During a total lunar eclipse the Moon turns a reddish color that historically has been called a “Blood Moon”. The reddish color, according to some, is caused by all of the sunsets and sunrises on the Earth. So how can that be and where does the reddish color come from? In reality sunlight, as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, is scattered with the shorter wavelengths of sunlight (toward the blue side) scattered the most. This leaves the longer wavelengths of sunlight (toward the red side) to pass on to the Moon thus giving the Moon its reddish color. Interestingly from the Moon with the Earth eclipsing the Sun there would be a reddish glow surrounding the Earth – in effect like seeing sunrise and sunset at the same time.
Eclipse Stage Time (CDT) Time (UT) Penumbral Eclipse Begins 3:15 am 8:15 Enter Umbra (Partial Eclipse Begins) 4:14 am 9:14 Total Eclipse Begins 5:25 am 10:25 Mid-Eclipse 5:54 am 10:54 Total Eclipse Ends 6:34 am 11:34 Exit Umbra (Partial Eclipse Ends) 7:34 am 12:34 Penumbral Eclipse Ends 8:33 am 13:33
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.