Total eclipse of the moon on September 27

Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 10:05pm

A total eclipse of the moon will take place on this Sunday, Sept. 27. The eclipse begins about 7:07 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time and will be underway when the moon rises in the east so you will want to have as low an eastern horizon as possible, Rich Erwin, introduction to astronomy instructor said.

The total phase begins at about 8:11 p.m. and it will last about an hour and 12 minutes so the moon will be up a bit higher when it begins to emerge from the Earth’s shadow at about 9:23 pm MDT.  It will be almost 10:30 p.m. before the last bit of the umbra slides off the moon’s edge. 

Erwin said,  “This eclipse is a bit unusual in that the moon is closer to its orbital perigee than it will be ever again in our lifetime. Therefore, the size of the moon in the sky will be just a tiny bit larger than it has been during an eclipse for a very long time and will be again for a very long time. 

“And we do not know just how dark the moon will appear during the total phase because this varies substantially from one eclipse to another, due to the characteristics of the Earth’s atmosphere during totality. Let’s all hope that the weather cooperates and allows us to view this great natural phenomenon,” Erwin stated.

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