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Total eclipse of the moon

The world’s first total eclipse of the moon since October 2004 will happen early in the evening on March 3. Totality will begin at 5:44 p.m. EST and end at 6:58 p.m. EST, allowing those in the eastern half of the United States a leisurely view. The farther east you are, the better the view will be. In most of the Eastern and Central time zones, the full moon will rise in the east already fully eclipsed. Observers in the western part of the Central time zone will see the moon partially eclipsed as it gradually climbs above the horizon. Those farther to the west will see the moon nearly back to normal by the time it rises.

The moon is eclipsed when it passes into Earth’s shadow. It can turn various unpredictable colors when that happens, ranging from orange and crimson to brick red. The moon’s unusual color during a total lunar eclipse is caused by the light of sunsets and sunrises around Earth’s rim being bent into Earth’s shadow by the atmosphere (the same way a prism works). This orange light then reflects from the moon’s surface the way sunlight normally does, making the moon appear anywhere from dark red to bright orange.

Read the original article at: Indiana University

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