Update 10.7.14: Tonight will feature the second total lunar eclipse, or blood moon, of the year starting at 1:15 am when the moon moves into the outer shadow of the Earth, though it won’t be visible to most. At 2:14am, the moon moves into the darker part of the Earth’s shadow with the full eclipse of the Earth’s shadow is completely covering the moon happening at 3:25am until 4:24am, notes LA Times.
Star gazers are in for a treat this evening as a total lunar eclipse, known as a ‘Blood Moon,’ will be seen over Los Angeles and most of North America.
So this morning we called up someone who could shed more light on the best way to watch this lunar eclipse in L.A. Ed Krupp, the Director of the Griffith Observatory, gave us his expert advice on when and where to watch this celestial event tonight.
First question, what exactly happens during a lunar eclipse?
“Very simple. We get these eclipses of the sun and the moon every year, you just have to be in the right place in order to get to see one,” Ed explained. “An eclipse of the moon occurs when the earth, the sun and the moon are all lined up and it’s the earth in the middle…so the earth’s shadow is cast on the moon.”
And why is it referred to as a ‘blood moon’?
“If the alignment is just right, the moon goes entirely into the shadow and that is what happens tonight,” he added. “The reason it is sometimes called the ‘blood moon’…is the fact that the moon catches some of the light of all of the world’s sunrises and sunsets when this occurs…even though the moon is in black shadow a little bit of that light gets bent in and gives it that red color.”
Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? Take full advantage of catching this lunar eclipse tonight, because it’s the first one in more than three years that is visible from L.A. Three more will happen soon, but at less convenient times to watch in the SoCal area; one on Oct. 8th will peak at 3:54am, April 4th, 2015 at 5am and Sept. 27, 2015 at 7:47pm.
Ed notes that you don’t have to be up high like at the observatory to watch the lunar eclipse, you can see it from anywhere in the SoCal area. However, for those looking for a true cosmic experience, he adds that the Griffith Observatory will be open for this lunar event with telescopes all over the lawn for an even better view.
The actual eclipse is a “slow event” starting about 10:58pm tonight with the totality of the eclipse happening about an hour later around 12:06am, Ed explained. To make it even more exciting, the “red Mars” will be visible alongside the “red moon” as the eclipse happens.
Listen to Ed’s detailed explanation on this evening’s lunar eclipse in the clip below and remember to look up to the stars tonight!