The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Lunar Eclipse passes near Sidney

 

January 31, 2018

NASA

The moon during totality. The color of the moon in this phase varies from eclipse to eclipse.

Early this morning, for those who are accustomed to getting up to watch the sun rise, the skyline looked a little uncharacteristic as the moon was eclipsed.

This year, the world will have the opportunity to experience three partial solar eclipses and two total lunar eclipses, according to SPACE.com.

This event is unique because in addition to lunar eclipse, it is the third in a series of "supermoons." A supermoon is when the moon is closer to the Earth in its orbit, known in astronomy as the perigee, and about 14 percent brighter than usual, according to nasa.gov. While the moon is in the Earth's shadow, it took on a reddish hue, thus the phrase "blood moon."

The eclipse turns the moon a deep shade of red as it passes through Earth's shadow, according to SPACE.com. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is completely submerged in Earth's dark, inner shadow called the umbra. If the moon is only partially covered by the umbra, or only enters the outer shadow, the penumbra, it is a partial lunar eclipse. The total eclipse is said to "begin" when the moon is fully covered by the umbra. This phase is also called totality.

This year is a Super Blue Moon. A blue moon is when two full moons happen in the same calendar month. The entire eclipse will be visible from northwestern North American and as far as eastern Siberia and Asia. Most of North America will see a partial eclipse before the moon sets and the sun rises.

According to NASA.gov., the show began as the umbra touched the edge of the Moon at 4:48 a.m. MST and with best viewing between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Sidney and Cheyenne County had its best view between 7 a.m. and 8:11 a.m. this morning, according to a NASA map. Viewers in the Central Time Zone experienced a better show because the action began when the moon is higher in the western sky.

Lunar eclipse viewers of the Western Hemisphere will experience the eclipse as the moon sets while Western Europe and Asia will see the eclipse as the moon rises.

The next lunar eclipse is expected in January 2019.

 

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