Lunar Eclipse Monday Night

Here's a reason to stay up late Monday night.

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    LONDON - MARCH 03: A full moon sits in the nights sky prior to the total lunar eclipse on March 3, 2007 in London, England. For a little over an hour the earth passed between the sun and moon, casting a hue of red over it as the suns light is forced through the atmosphere. This will happen again Monday night.

    'Twill be nights before Christmas and high overhead, the moon will turn brown or maybe deep red.

    The Earth and the sun with celestial scripts will conspire to make a lunar eclipse overnight Monday, which should be visible here in the Bay Area, weather permitting.

    Oakland's Chabot Space & Science Center hosts "Midnight Delight" Monday night so that people can view the eclipse in the warn confines of its facility.

    The Earth's shadow will begin to fall on a full moon starting at 9:30 p.m. The center will be open all night.

    People across the entire state should be able to view the entire show, which is expected to last more than three hours.  Total eclipse is supposed to hit at 11:41 p.m. Monday. The totality phase -- when the moon is entirely inside Earth's shadow -- will last a little over an hour.

    Sky gazers in North and Central America and a tiny sliver of South America will boast the best seats to this year's only total eclipse of the moon.

    The moon is normally illuminated by the sun. During a total lunar eclipse, the full moon passes through the shadow created by the Earth blocking the sun's light. Some indirect sunlight will still manage to pierce through and give the moon a ghostly color.

    Since the eclipse coincides with winter solstice, the moon will appear high in the sky -- a boon for skywatchers. With recent volcanic eruptions around the globe dumping tons of dust into the atmosphere, scientists predict the moon may appear darker than usual during the eclipse, glowing an eerie red or brown instead of the usual orange-yellow tinge.

    Unlike solar eclipses which require protective glasses, lunar eclipses are safe to watch with the naked eye.