Bay Area To Get A View Of Total Lunar Eclipse
Bay Area residents willing to stay up late have the opportunity to see the longest total lunar eclipse of the decade.
The Earth's shadow will cover the moon early Tuesday morning around 3 a.m. Pacific time, when filtered light will turn the moon a rusty red.
Eclipses can be deep blood red, orange, brown or a dull rust shade, according to scientists.
The total eclipse ends around 4:20 a.m. Pacific time.
Of the 230 lunar eclipses scheduled for this century, only 85 are total. This will be the second eclipse this year. The next will happen in February, according to Chabot Space & Science Center, a nonprofit interactive center in Oakland.
The eclipse begins at 12:52 a.m., when the moon enters the Earth's partial shadow. At 1:51 a.m., the moon will make its first contact with the Earth's total shadow. For the next hour, the moon will be swallowed by Earth's shadow until it is engulfed at 2:52 a.m., according to Chabot Space & Science Center.
To the casual viewer, the moon will be whole again at 5:24 a.m.
Besides the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada, the best viewing will be in New Zealand and eastern Australia.
In the Bay Area, there will be typical areas of low clouds along the coast. Seeing the eclipse may be difficult for residents in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, said Bob Benjamin, a National Weather Service forecaster.
"It could be worse," Benjamin said.
Along the eastern side of the Peninsula there will be partially cloudy skies, but it is not expected to be totally overcast, he said.
Residents in the East Bay and in most areas away from the coast should be able to view it.
The best advice is to move inland and avoid city lights, which will make it more difficult to see, he said.
To celebrate the eclipse, the Chabot Space & Science Center, located at 10000 Skyline Blvd. in Oakland, is hosting a "Once in a Red Moon" viewing party on its observatory deck atop the Oakland Hills and in its planetarium Monday night.
Doors open at 10 p.m. and there will be activities like a moon hike and telescope viewing. Visitors can rock out to lunar-themed music on the observatory deck. There also will be a variety of hands-on activities and a full-dome digital simulation of the eclipse.
"Although we know exactly when every total eclipse will happen, we never know what each will look like," said Chabot astronomer Conrad Jung, who will co-host the event. "A few decades ago, we had a total eclipse that displayed a rich canvas of colors and, in the same year, one in which volcanic ash in the atmosphere created a shading so dark the moon was rendered invisible. It's always interesting to see which moon shows up."