Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Your guide to the total lunar eclipse - Space.com- msnbc.com

 

Your guide to the total lunar eclipse

Americas and Western Europe have excellent seats for the show

China Photos / Getty Images file

Earth's shadow sweeps over the moon during a lunar eclipse on Aug. 28, as seen from China's Chongqing Municipality. Sunlight is refracted around Earth's edge, turning the moon's disk a dusky red. How red will the moon get during Wednesday's eclipse?

For the third time in the past year, the moon will become completely immersed in Earth's shadow on Wednesday night, resulting in a total lunar eclipse.

As is the case with all lunar eclipses, the region of visibility encompasses more than half of our planet. Nearly a billion people in the Western Hemisphere, more than 1.5 billion in Europe and Africa, and perhaps another half-billion in western Asia will be able to watch — weather permitting — as the brilliant midwinter full moon becomes a shadow of its former self and morphs into a glowing coppery ball.

Almost everyone in the Americas and Western Europe will have a beautiful view of this eclipse if bad weather doesn't spoil the show. The moon will be high in a dark evening sky as viewed from most of the United States and Canada, at a time when most people are still awake and about.

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Your guide to the total lunar eclipse - Space.com- msnbc.com

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