May 30, 2020

Astronomy Video of the Week: Watch the April 4th Total Lunar Eclipse Live!

Totality as witnessed during the 2003 total lunar eclipse.

(Photo by author)

Ready for the next big eclipse? The big ticket celestial event for April is coming right up, with the first of two total lunar eclipses for 2015 occurring on the morning of Saturday, April 4th. This eclipse features the shortest lunar totality for the 21st century at just four minutes and 43 seconds in duration, and the eclipse will be visible from around the Pacific region, including most of North America.

But fear not if you live in the wrong hemisphere or get clouded out: the good folks over at the Virtual Telescope Project have got you covered:

The live webcast of the April 4th total lunar eclipse is set to start at 10:00 UT/6:00 AM EDT, just 15 minutes prior to the onset of the first partial umbral phases of the eclipse. We’ll be dropping in the live embed for the webcast later in the week as it becomes available. The Virtual Telescope Project team promises to coordinate views from dozens of observers across Australia and North America, as well as feature commentary courtesy of astronomer Gianluca Masi.

And here’s said promised embed:

And yes, this eclipse is part of an ongoing tetrad of four total lunar eclipses spanning 2014 and 2015. The final eclipse in the series falls on September 28th, 2015. And this weekend’s eclipse just so happens to fall on Easter weekend. Expect the “Blood Moon” to make an appearance right around 12:02 UT/5:02 AM Pacific time, though this eclipse will be exceptionally bright as the Moon barely dips into the umbra of the Earth’s shadow for the first time for lunar saros 132.

Don’t miss Saturday’s lunar eclipse, either in person or online!

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