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Total Lunar Eclipse over Peru on Saturday, March 3nd

Create some free time this weekend for sky watching. On Saturday night, March 3rd at 6:21 p.m. , a total lunar eclipse will take place and will be visible over the Americas, Europe, Africa, and western Asia.

A lunar eclipse occurs whenever some portion of the Earth’s shadow falls upon the Moon. Two conditions are required for this to happen. First, the Moon must be full; that is, from the perspective of the Sun, the Moon must be directly behind the Earth. A beautiful red sunset is expected for tomorrow.

Totality can be seen from parts of all seven continents including Peru and all of Europe, Africa and the eastern half of North America.

Europe and Africa are favored. People there will see Earth’s red shadow swallow the Moon for more than an hour around 23:21 GMT (18:21 p.m. in Lima).

see animation at http://www.shadowandsubstance.com/

Here in Lima and Peru, at the end of the day on Saturday, go outside and face east. As the sun sets behind your back, a red Moon will rise before your eyes — it will be a fantastic site if the sky is clear. You will see it by naked eye (there is not harm to your eyes), using binoculars or telescopes is even better.

The Moon does not completely disappear as it passes through the umbra because of the refraction of sunlight by the Earth’s atmosphere into the shadow cone. The amount of refracted light depends on the amount of clouds or dust in the atmosphere, and this light causes the Moon to glow with a coppery-red hue that varies from one eclipse to the next.

Every year there are at least two lunar eclipses. Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed at a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth.

(thanks to Anibal Paredes for providing this info)

Wolfy Becker

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