Clouds Threaten Southern New England View of Lunar Eclipse

lunar eclipse graphic necn

The hype surrounding this weekend's total lunar eclipse continues to build, but a deck of clouds threatens to spoil the view for some in New England.

The eclipse happens on Sunday night, and with clear skies can be seen all along the east coast. This particular eclipse is unique because it's happening during a "supermoon."

While not a technical term, a supermoon refers to a full moon that occur when the moon makes its closest approach to earth. This month's full moon, known as the Harvest Moon, will appear a touch bigger and brighter than usual as a result. The difference in size and brightness is virtually unnoticeable to the naked eye, however.

Regardless, this will be the first total lunar eclipse to occur in conjunction with a supermoon since 1982. The next such occurrence will happen in 2033, although another lunar eclipse will happen as early as 2018.

Even without the supermoon component, this weekend's eclipse will be a sight to see.

Recall that a lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through earth's shadow. Unlike a solar eclipse, it's completely safe to watch a lunar eclipse without any eye protection.

The eclipse will begin at roughly 9:07 PM. At that time part of the moon will be covered by earth's shadow. The total eclipse, meaning all of the moon is covered, will stretch from 10:11 PM-11:23 PM.

Sometimes the moon takes on a red hue during an eclipse, leaving some to call it a "blood moon." That is also not a technical term. The red hue occurs due to light scattering around earth.

In New England, the best viewing will unquestionably be found north of the Massachusetts Turnpike. South of there, while the eclipse will be visible in spots, it won't be a clean viewing for all. Clouds moving northward from a storm in the mid-Atlantic will likely obscure the view. 

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