Science Space

Total lunar eclipse Saturday morning: Watch it live, right here

There's a total lunar eclipse coming in the early hours of Saturday morning and you can watch it live, right here.

But be forewarned: The eclipse is not at an especially convenient time for sky watchers on the West coast. The moon begins to move into the dark part of the Earth's shadow at the unpleasant time of 3:15 a.m.

Totality, when the moon is completely engulfed in our planet's shadow occurs, at the still unpleasant time of 4:58 a.m. and lasts for less than five minutes.

If sleep means nothing to you, you can continue to watch the moon slowly emerge from the shadow of the Earth, finally breaking free just as the sun begins to rise.

The astronomy website Slooh.com will stream live images of the eclipse from its network of telescopes around the world. The video broadcast which you can watch here, begins at 3 a.m PDT. If you have questions you would like Slooh astronomer to answer you can pose them on Twitter with the hashtag #BreakfastEclipse. 

Only the beginning moments of the eclipse will be visible from the East coast, because the moon will set before totality is reached. Sky watchers who live west of the Mississippi river will be able to see totality, but only those of us who live in the far western U.S. will be able to watch the entire show before the dawning of day interrupts our view. 

This particular lunar eclipse is the third in a series of four eclipses that are each separated by about six months. The first two occurred on April 15 and Oct. 8 of 2014. A fourth will take place on Sept. 28. Astronomers call this an eclipse tetrad and it is relatively rare. The last one occurred 10 years ago and the next won't take place until 2032, according to Sky & Telescope.

Another thing that makes this eclipse special is that the length of totality is exceptionally brief. That's because the moon is moving through the narrow upper part of the Earth's circular shadow. If it moved through the center of the shadow, it would last a lot longer. 

Happy sky watching!

More from Science:

What makes Saturday's lunar eclipse so special?

Mars rover Curiosity spots strange veins on planet's surface

NASA takes its 'flying saucer' for a test spin

Science rules! Follow me @DeborahNetburn and "like" Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook.


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