Lunar Eclipse

What is a Lunar Eclipse

A Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. For this to happen the Sun, Earth, and Moon must come into alignment. There are a few different types of Lunar Eclipse that are determined by where the moon is in relationship to the shadow of the Earth.

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Total Eclipse

A Total Eclipse occurs when the moon is completely blocked from the sun. When the Moon is in this location it is in the Umbra region of the Earth’s Shadow. The Umbra is darkest region of the Earth’s shadow and receives little or no solar radiation.

While other types of Lunar Eclipses can be viewed in wide regions of the earth the part of the eclipse that is “Total” is viewable is a much smaller region. The same can be said for the duration of the Eclipse. An Eclipse can last around 3 hours but the time that it is full is generally around an hour or less.

Partial Eclipse

A Partial Eclipse occurs when the moon partially enters the Umbra shadow of the Earth but is no completely blocked from the sun. When the Moon is in this location it is partially in the Penumbra and partially in the Umbra on the Earths Shadow.

The effect that this type of Eclipse has when located on Earth is that the Moon is partially shaded on one side. The shaded side of the moon is the darkest part of the earths shadow(Umbra).

Partial Eclipse are generally visible in a wide area of the earth.

Penumbra Eclipse

A Penumbra Eclipse occurs when the moon only enters the Penumbra area of the Earth’s shadow. The Penumbra is a region of the shadow that is not completely obsured from the rays of the sun. This lighter shadow is a result of the relative size of the Sun to the Earth.

This type of Eclipse causes the moon to only darken slightly when viewed from earth and is one of the less dramatic Lunar eclipse.

April 4, 2015 — Partial Lunar Eclipse (Colorado)

During this partial lunar eclipse, the Earth’s shadow covers only parts of the Moon, as seen from Colorado. There are no other locations on Earth where the Moon appears completely covered during this event.

The Earth’s shadow covers a large portion of the Moon, so this is still a nice sight. Visit this link to see an animation of the view from Denver.

Local times for eclipse in Denver on Saturday, April 4, 2015

Click on the Sun/Moon symbol in the “Looks like” column to see what the eclipse looks like during the different phases of the event.

Event Time in Denver Direction Altitude Looks like Comments
Penumbral Eclipse begins Apr 4 at 3:03 AM 221°Southwest 36.1° Eclipse as seen from earth The Earth’s penumbra start touching the Moon’s face.
Partial Eclipse begins Apr 4 at 4:17 AM 238°West-southwest 25.4° Eclipse as seen from earth Partial moon eclipse starts – moon is getting red.
Maximum Eclipse Apr 4 at 6:00 AM 256°West-southwest 7.5° Eclipse as seen from earth Moon is closest to the center of the shadow.
Moon close to horizon, so make sure you have free sight to West-southwest.
Moonset Apr 4 at 6:43 AM 263°West 0.0° below Not directly visible Below horizon
Partial Eclipse ends Apr 4 at 7:44 AM 272°West 11.9° below Not directly visible Below horizon
Penumbral Eclipse ends Apr 4 at 8:58 AM 284°West-northwest 25.6° below Not directly visible Below horizon

This eclipse is in progress during moonrise or moonset, so only parts of the eclipse are visible in Denver.

The animation’s bottom edge represents an ideal, flat horizon, which is at the same altitude as the observer.

Times are local for Denver (MDT – Mountain Daylight Time).