In the morning of November 8th (election day) a lunar eclipse will be visible in Colorado and across all of North America. This will be the last Total Lunar Eclipse until March 2025 and the last one visible in north america until March 2026. In Colorado this will start to be visible at 1am (mountain time) peak at 4am and will be visible until the moon sets just after 6:30am. Don't miss this eclipse and don't miss the vote!
Observing lunar eclipses is easy and requires no equipment. Seeing this rare phenomenon can be done anywhere that you can see the Moon. Just check in on the Moon frequently in the morning of the 8th and watch it.
A lunar eclipse is caused by an alignment of the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon. This happens when the Moon is on the exact opposite side of the Earth from the Sun so that the sun’s light is blocked from reaching the Moon by the Earth.
If you were on the Moon a “lunar eclipse” looks like a solar eclipse where the Sun is blocked out by the Earth. On the Earth we see the fully illuminated full Moon go dark (usually a dark shade of red/orange). The red/orange color is caused by the Earth’s dirty little atmosphere bending light from the Sun, so that only the deep red light is bent enough to reach the sun. From the perspective from the Moon when you would see the Sun tuck behind the Earth then you are able to see a red/orange ring of sun around the Earth. This red/orange ring is the Earth’s atmosphere bending the light, so during a lunar eclipse an observer on the Moon would see all of the sunsets around the Earth at that moment. This is why lunar eclipses are different shades of reds and orange as what is going on in the Earth’s atmosphere changes the color. For example, a volcano in Chile made a lunar eclipse in 2015 extra dark because it released more particulates into the atmosphere.
Looking at the moon with a telescope or a simple pair of binoculars will yield amazing detail of the lunar landscape, and enhance watching Earth’s shadow progress across the Moon. The Moon is the second brightest thing in the sky (after the Sun) and can hurt your eyes if using too large of a telescope (it’ll ‘hurt’ like stepping out on a sunny day without sunglasses hurts it’s unlikely to do any actual damage to your eyes to look at the moon in a telescope), so actually a smaller telescope might even be better. Looking in a telescope or binoculars you will be able to tell as the Moon gets dimmer.
You will also be able to see the effects of the Moon dimming when looking at other celestial objects such as Mizar (the double star in the big dipper) which will start at midnight more washed out by the Moon’s natural light pollution but will appear brighter and easier to see while the Moon is eclipsed. Mizar is the middle star of the handle of the big dipper, the big dipper should be almost directly over the north-eastern horizon on the evening of the lunar eclipse. Test your eyes by looking at this star before the moon is eclipsed and during the eclipse. Be sure to check out my other blog post here to see what else you can test your eyes with while checking out the Eclipse.
Come get an up close view of the moon on our tour! click here to book now!
Not in Colorado November 8th? See NASA's official post here to learn exact times for your area: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEplot/LEplot2001/LE2022Nov08T.pdf
And most importantly get up early to see the eclipse and get out early to vote! https://www.vote.org/