February 20th, 2019

Lunar eclipse this weekend will be difficult to spot

By Mo Cranker on January 19, 2019.

SUBMITTED PHOTO A look at the moon during the last lunar eclipse on Sept. 27, 2015 in Medicine Hat.


mcranker@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNmocranker

A lunar eclipse is taking place this weekend — sadly, Hatters may not be able to take it in.

The lunar eclipse happens somewhat frequently but this year’s will likely be blocked by clouds.

“We’re not running any programs this year,” said Medicine Hat Astronomy Club president James Paulson. “We were thinking of doing an open house event for the eclipse but it’s looking like weather isn’t going to be on our side.”

A lunar eclipse takes place when the earth passes between the moon and the sun, and the next one Hatters will be able to see is in 2021.

“Having a lunar eclipse in our area is far more common than having a solar eclipse,” said Paulson. “It’s unfortunate that we likely aren’t going to be able to see it this year, but this happens sometimes.

“We’re not doing anything big but I’m hoping to get out and get some photos if I can.”

While solar eclipses are not safe to view without special eyewear, Sunday’s will be good to be watched and photographed, says Paulson.

“Lunar eclipses are completely safe,” he said. “Looking at a lunar eclipse is like looking at a full moon, but it’s not even as bright.

“What will happen is that the moon will begin to diminish and then it’ll start to turn red.”

The moon will be red for roughly an hour, then it will begin to go back to normal.

The first contact with the earth’s shadow is at 7:36 p.m. The partial eclipse begins at 8:33 p.m. The total eclipse begins at 9:41 p.m. The whole thing will end at 12:48 a.m.

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