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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Total Lunar Eclipse of Full Blood Moon Shortest of the Century

A total lunar eclipse of the Full Blood Moon will take place early Saturday morning. For the third time in less than a year, sky watchers in the United States can see this total eclipse of the Moon. The eclipse begins at 6:16 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time when the edge of the Moon first enters the amber core of Earth’s shadow. For the next hour and 45 minutes, Earth's shadow will move across the lunar disk, ultimately swallowing the entire Moon at 7:58 a.m. EDT.

Unfortunately, we won't be able to see much, if anything. First, clouds and showers are expected to linger into early Saturday morning across southwestern Connecticut. Second, the Moon will set at 6:32 a.m., just 16 minutes after the partial eclipse starts.

The total eclipse is the third of four total lunar eclipses separated by approximately six months, a phenomenon astronomers call a "tetrad." Such a closely-spaced succession of eclipses is a fairly rare occurrence. The complete list of dates is April 15th, 2014; Oct. 8th, 2014; April 4th, 2015; and Sept. 28th, 2015.