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Monday, October 06, 2014 8:43 PM

Rare Blood Moon Coming

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We momentarily interrupt economic news with some celestial news that may be of interest to millions, including some of my readership.

Wednesday morning, in the early AM, a full lunar eclipse will turn the moon red. The lunar eclipse will be visible over much of the US, especially the West.

Accuweather has some details in Lunar Eclipse to Veil Moon Red in Predawn Hours of Wednesday

"It's not that often that we get a total eclipse from the United States; sometimes we go years between getting them," Slooh Astronomer Bob Berman said, adding that it is a very unusual situation. "If you had to pick one time to set the alarm and go out, I'd say do it at 6:15 a.m. EDT," he said.

Moon to Turn Blood Red

Space.Com reports Total Lunar Eclipse Next Week Will Turn the Moon Blood Red

Rare 'Selenelion' Moon

Yahoo reports Total Lunar Eclipse On Wednesday Will Be a Rare 'Selenelion'

On Oct. 8, Interested skywatchers should attempt to see the total eclipse of the moon and the rising sun simultaneously. The little-used name for this effect is called a "selenelion," a phenomenon that celestial geometry says cannot happen.

And indeed, during a lunar eclipse, the sun and moon are exactly 180 degrees apart in the sky. In a perfect alignment like this (called a "syzygy"), such an observation would seem impossible. But thanks to Earth's atmosphere, the images of both the sun and moon are apparently lifted above the horizon by atmospheric refraction. This allows people on Earth to see the sun for several extra minutes before it actually has risen and the moon for several extra minutes after it has actually set.

As a consequence of this atmospheric trick, for many localities east of the Mississippi River, watchers will have a chance to observe this unusual sight firsthand. Weather permitting, you could have a short window of roughly 2 to 9 minutes (depending on your location) with the possibility of simultaneously seeing the sun rising in the east while the eclipsed full moon is setting in the west.
If I had my choice of locations I would pick somewhere on the West coast, perhaps a place like Joshua Tree National Park with interesting rock formations and trees in which to frame the moon.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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