Lunar Eclipse Saturday Morning, December 10

A lunar eclipse will occur on the morning of Saturday, December 10, Central Standard Time.  The eclipse will be visible as the moon sets over mainly the western half of the continental United States.  The eclipse will be total from southern California, through the central Rockies, and northward to the Dakotas.  The total eclipse will last from about 8:06 a.m. to 8:57 a.m. CST.  Below is a diagram showing the positions of the Sun, Earth and Moon during a lunar eclipse.  Note that the Moon must be located in its orbit such that the Earth blocks light from reaching it, for a lunar eclipse to occur.

Image of a Lunar Eclipse

In Milwaukee and surrounding areas, only a partial lunar eclipse will be visible.  The moon will set at 7:12 a.m. CST, meaning we will not be able to see the eclipse through totality in Wisconsin.  The Moon will enter the Earth's shadow starting around 5:33 a.m., and this defines the start of the eclipse.  After this time, the Moon will begin to fade into a orange or reddish color, with the color uneven across its face as the shadow passes across.  Though we won't be able to see it locally as the Moon will be below the horizon, the eclipse will end at 11:30 a.m. CST, when the Moon passes out of the shadow of the Earth.

Click here for more detailed information on this eclipse event, courtesy of NASA.

The next lunar eclipse will be on June 4, 2012, but this is only a partial eclipse, which means the Moon will not completely enter the Earth's shadow.  A total eclipse will not occur again until April 15, 2014.



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