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The coolest astronomical event of this month will be the total Moon eclipse which will take place on Wednesday October 8. This is actually the second total lunar eclipse of 2014, the first was on April 15 and it was part of what the scientists call “the four supermoons”. The last supermoon was on September 8 when the Moon was huge.
The best place to see the total Moon eclipse will be in the West side of the United States, scientists say. NASA said that the eclipse will also be visible in the East but not as spectacular. On October 8 not only we will witness a fascinating total Moon eclipse but also we will be able to see a reddish Moon, something known as the “blood moon”.
The astronomical event called an eclipse happens when the Earth, the Moon and the Sun align so that the shadow of the Earth (called the umbra) passes over the moon, obscuring it.
The red, rusty color of the moon is given by the sunlight that passes through the atmosphere of our planet. The total Moon eclipse will be visible from the Pacific Ocean but North America will also be able to see the eclipse’s stages. When the moon will be totally eclipsed, it will set and can be seen in the eastern part of the US. NASA said that this eclipse will make the moon appear larger than it was on April 15, more specifically 5.3% larger. The total moon eclipse phase will last for 59 minutes and unlike a solar eclipse, the lunar eclipse can be watched with the naked eye without any health dangers.
Because it lies deeper in the Earth’s shadow, the southern half of the moon will appear darker than the northern side. The forecast suggests the total Moon eclipse will be best seen from south Alabama because it will have the clearest skies at night. When the moon will be totally eclipsed you can see the autumn constellations at its best. This is the second lunar eclipse out of four eclipses in a row, called a tetrad.
The next big skygazing event will take place on October 23 and this time it will be a partial solar eclipse which will be visible in the US. The next total moon eclipse will happen on April 4, 2015.