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April 4 lunar eclipse April 3, 2015

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, MichiganAstro, Urban Observing.
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Here in the midwest, we’ll have a partial lunar eclipse at dawn on April 4. Further west observers get to see the whole eclipse of course, and if you go far enough west, it’ll be Friday night when the eclipse happens. check out Timeanddate.com for timing and how much will be visible from your area.

If you want some details on what features to look for, check out Fred Espenak’s eclipsewise site. He includes information on things like how to photograph it, what to look for, and even data amateurs can collect.

If it’s not visible for you, here are some places you can watch online:

http://main.slooh.com/

http://www.virtualtelescope.eu/2015/03/03/4-april-2015-total-lunar-eclipse-live-event-online/

http://www.griffithobs.org/events/Lunar_Eclipse_April_2015.html

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/59775171

One interesting thing about this eclipse is that there’s actually a little debate about whether or not it’s really a total eclipse. Even the best shadows don’t have a shape edge. Add the fact that Earth has an atmosphere, and it’s not perfectly round, and it’s seriously challenging to figure out exactly where to draw the line.  Because of that hint of uncertainty, most eclipse predictions call this the shortest total eclipse of the century, but a few people consider it the deepest partial eclipse of the century. You can find out more about it in the comments on the Sky and Telescope article about the eclipse.  And of course, you could go and look for yourself!

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