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Seeing red - eclipsed moon and mars both visible tonight

There should be a nearly clear sky for the total lunar eclipse tonight.
Image Credit: NASA
April 14, 2014 - 10:55 AM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN — A lunar eclipse is expected to make an appearance overnight and those willing to wait up for it will be treated to a rare treat, a red moon.

Mars will come within 92.4 million km of Earth tonight, the closest approach to our planet since January 2008. The ‘red planet’ will resemble a star but with a steady fiery tint throughout the night.

Tonight there will also be a total lunar eclipse, which is when the moon passes completely through the Earth’s shadow. As the eclipse occurs the moon will gradually get darker while taking on a rusty or blood red colour.

While the entire eclipse experience is more than three hours, the moon will remain as a red-hued ball for approximately 78 minutes while it is completely shadowed by Earth. It has been nearly 3.5 years since the last widely visible eclipse could be viewed from North America.

In B.C. the eclipse will begin just before 11 p.m. as the Earth's shadow begins to move over the moon, slowly transforming the colour, before slowly beginning to move off the moon just after midnight.

While lunar eclipses usually only occur every couple years, another is expected that will be visible from the western half of North America on Oct. 8 of this year.

Much of the region is expected to get some cloud cover later today but for the most part a few clouds to partly cloudy conditions are expected overnight, other than in the Kelowna area where it is expected to become fully cloudy by morning.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor for this story, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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