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?
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|
|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|
|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.
Diagrams for different time zones
- Eclipse Diagram for GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
- Eclipse Diagram for EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
- Eclipse Diagram for CDT (Central Daylight Time)
- Eclipse Diagram for MDT (Mountain Daylight Time)
- Eclipse Diagram for PDT (Pacific Daylight Time)
- Eclipse Diagram for AKDT (Alaska Daylight Time)
- Eclipse Diagram for HST (Hawaiian Standard Time)
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.)