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Apr 04 2015

A Short Total Eclipse of the Moon

If you’re up early enough, about an hour before sunrise, you might want to look to the sky.

Shortest Lunar Eclipse of the Century

On Saturday morning, April 4, 2015 not long before sunrise, the bright full moon over North America should turn a lovely shade of celestial red during a total lunar eclipse.

The lunar eclipse will be visible from all parts of the United States.  Eastern North America and western South America can see beginning stages of the partial umbral eclipse low in the west before sunrise April 4, whereas middle Asia (India, western China, mid-Asian Russia) can view the ending stages of the partial umbral eclipse low in the east after sunset April 4. Greenland, Iceland, Europe, Africa and the Middle East won’t see this eclipse at all. A world map of eclipse visibility is available here. The total eclipse will last only five minutes.

This eclipse marks the third in a series of four lunar eclipses in a row, known as a “tetrad.”  The first in the series occurred on April 15, 2014, with the second in the tetrad of eclipses in September of 2014, and the final will be September 28, 2015.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will provide a livestream.

Timeline of eclipse on April 4

Lunar Eclipse, April 4, 2015 Eastern Daylight Time, *a.m.)

Partial eclipse begins 6:16 EDT

Totality begins 7:58 EDT

Greatest eclipse 8:00 EDT

Totality ends 8:03 EDT

Partial eclipse ends 9:45 EDT

Because the the moon can look red during an eclipse, it is sometimes called a “Blood Moon.” The April full moon is often called the “Pink Moon”:

The wild ground phlox is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this moon were the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and – among coastal tribes – the Full Fish Moon, when the shad came upstream to spawn.

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