CLEVELAND — Skywatchers can look forward to a total lunar eclipse this weekend! This celestial event will be visible at night across the Americas, Europe, and Africa.
The visible part of the eclipse begins about 10:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on Sunday May 15, with totality starting an hour later and lasting for about an hour and a half. Those in the Eastern U.S. will see the eclipse start with the moon well above the horizon. The total lunar eclipse begins around 11:30 p.m. and continues until 12:53 a.m. EDT.
Lunar eclipses are the ones that are safe to look at directly with your eyes, binoculars, or a telescope (unlike solar eclipses).
The moon takes on a dim, reddish hue during the period of totality. Even though the moon is fully immersed in Earth's shadow at that time, red wavelengths of sunlight filter through Earth's atmosphere and fall onto the moon's surface. One way to think of this is that a total lunar eclipse shows us a projection of all the sunrises and sunsets happening on the planet at that moment.
Conditions for viewing:
This is going to be a close call! Our next system is approaching the area right now and will bring widespread showers and storms to Northeast Ohio tonight and Monday morning. Most of Sunday looks dry with warm temperatures and a mix of sun and clouds.
However, clouds will be increasing Sunday night ahead of widespread rain/storms overnight and into Monday. The clouds could be a show ruiner for some of us. I think it is still worth a peek out of your window during totality to check! Please send in any pictures you snap of the eclipse!
The good news is that rain increases after midnight and will gradually spread from west to east. Keep in mind a few storms could become strong or severe with gusty winds, heavy rain and hail.
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