Shortest Total Lunar Eclipse of the Century – April 4, 2015

Total Lunar Eclipse of April 15, 2014 from http://www.mreclipse.com/LEphoto/TLE2014Apr/TLE2014Apr-1145.html

Total Lunar Eclipse of April 15, 2014 from http://www.mreclipse.com/LEphoto/TLE2014Apr/TLE2014Apr-1145.html


The Total Lunar Eclipse of July 16, 2000 was a very long total eclipse (1 hour 47 minutes). This time will not be exceeded for over a thousand years. (courtesy of Fred Espenak)

The Total Lunar Eclipse of July 16, 2000 was a very long total eclipse (1 hour 47 minutes). This time will not be exceeded for over a thousand years. (courtesy of Fred Espenak)

Don’t blink or you’ll miss the shortest lunar eclipse of the century!

What is happening?

During the early morning hours of April 4, the full moon will pass through Earth’s dark or inner shadow (umbra) creating a total lunar eclipse. Portions of the eclipse will be visible from much of North America, observers in the western third of the continent have the best view. The period of total eclipse is unusually short lasting only 4.5 minutes as compared to 59 minutes for the last eclipse October 8, 2014. Before the moon enters the Earth’s umbra it first enters the penumbra or outer shadow. The total time for the moon to travel through the penumbra, umbra then back through the penumbra is about 3 and 1/2 hours.

During the total eclipse the moon appears bright orange to blood red. For more on check out  Visual Appearance of Lunar Eclipses.

Where is the eclipse visible?

TLE2015Apr04-map1a

The map above shows the geographic regions of visibility for each phase of the eclipse. The entire eclipse is visible from start to finish in the white (unshaded) portion of the map, while none of the eclipse can be seen from the dark gray areas.

When is the eclipse?

The partial eclipse begins with first umbral contact at 10:16 GMT. Totality is at 11:58 GMT and lasts until 12:03 GMT. The partial phases end at 13:45 GMT. Eclipse times for time zones in the United States and Canada are shown in the following table. Most areas of the United States currently observe Daylight Saving Time (DST). Two exceptions are Arizona (although the Navajo Nation does observe Daylight Saving Time) and Hawaii. For observers in Arizona, use the times listed under Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

Total Lunar Eclipse of 2015 Apr 04
North America Pacific
Event GMT EDT CDT MDT PDT AKDT HST
Partial Eclipse Begins: 10:16 am 06:16 am 05:16 am 04:16 am 03:16 am 02:16 am 12:16 am
Total Eclipse Begins: 11:58 am 07:58 am 06:58 am 05:58 am 04:58 am 03:58 am 01:58 am
Greatest Eclipse: 12:00 pm 08:00 am 07:00 am 06:00 am 05:00 am 04:00 am 02:00 am
Total Eclipse Ends: 12:03 pm 08:03 am 07:03 am 06:03 am 05:03 am 04:03 am 02:03 am
Partial Eclipse Ends: 01:45 pm 09:45 am 08:45 am 07:45 am 06:45 am 05:45 am 03:45 am

 

Key to Time Zones
Zone Description
GMT Greenwich Mean Time
EDT Eastern Daylight Time (GMT – 4 hours)
CDT Central Daylight Time (GMT – 5 hours)
MDT Mountain Daylight Time (GMT – 6 hours)
PDT Pacific Daylight Time (GMT – 7 hours)
AKDT Alaska Daylight Time (GMT – 8 hours)
HST Hawaii Standard Time (GMT – 10 hours)

Lunar Eclipse DiagramsFor more information on time, see Time Zones. GMT is used here as the standard but it has actually been replaced in astronomy by Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) , which is based on atomic time.

April 2014 eclipse diagram, by Fred Espenak (NASA/GSFC), gives the eclipse times in Hawaii Standard Time. Find more information at http://bit.ly/1asNjru

April 2014 eclipse diagram, by Fred Espenak (NASA/GSFC), gives the eclipse times in Hawaii Standard Time. Find more information at http://bit.ly/1asNjru

April 2014 eclipse diagram, by Fred Espenak (NASA/GSFC), gives the eclipse times in Pacific Daylight Time. Find more information at http://bit.ly/1asNjru

April 2014 eclipse diagram, by Fred Espenak (NASA/GSFC), gives the eclipse times in Pacific Daylight Time. Find more information at http://bit.ly/1asNjru

April 2014 eclipse diagram, by Fred Espenak (NASA/GSFC), gives the eclipse times in Alaska Daylight Time. Find more information at http://bit.ly/1asNjru

April 2014 eclipse diagram, by Fred Espenak (NASA/GSFC), gives the eclipse times in Alaska Daylight Time. Find more information at http://bit.ly/1asNjru

 

Diagrams for different time zones

(To determine the Moon’s altitude at each stage of the eclipse as seen from your city or location, see Javascript Lunar Eclipse Explorer. This web page allows you to calculate the viewing circumstances of all lunar eclipses visible from your city over a five-thousand year period.)

More Information

For more general information about eclipses of all kinds (solar, lunar, etc.) check out the pages from Mr. Eclipse, Fred Espenak, at NASA Goddard as well as his personal eclipse page www.mreclipse.com. For more information on the how, what, why, when and where of lunar eclipses, see the special web page Lunar Eclipses for Beginners. (Note: All the information here is from Fred Espenak.)

A total lunar eclipse on Dec. 21, 2010. Photo credit: Gary A. Becker

A total lunar eclipse on Dec. 21, 2010. Photo credit: Gary A. Becker

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