Feb. 28, 2007

















                               LUNAR ECLIPSE VISIBLE FROM PITTSBURGH


                                                          2007 MARCH 3






Kent State University

Jonna Call















By Jonna Call

      Astronomy Student, Kent State University

     A total lunar eclipse will be visible from Pittsburgh on Saturday evening, March 3.  The eclipse will commence before the Moon rises, where it will be seen in Africa and Europe.  The Moon will be in the Earth’s shadow completely when the Moon rises in Pittsburgh about 6:08 PM.

     The Moon passes through the middle of the Earth’s shadow at about 6:20 PM. While it is in the Earth’s shadow, the Moon will take on a reddish, or reddish-orange color.  This is because if an observer on the Moon were looking at the Earth, that hypothetical observer would see red-orange sunset and sunrise simultaneously around the Earth as the Earth hides the Sun from view. This red and orange light spills into the shadow of the Earth and illuminates the Moon in a strange vermillion hue.

    The Moon will begin to leave the Earth’s shadow at about 6:58 PM, and, a little more than an hour later, by 8:11 PM, it will be entirely out of the Earth’s shadow.

    After that, the Moon will pass through a zone where the Sun is only partly blocked out by the Earth.  This zone, called the penumbra, produces only slight effect on the appearance of the Moon.  The Moon will appear normal but reduced somewhat in brightness, especially at the beginning.  The Moon will leave this Penumbral Zone at 9:25 PM and the eclipse will be over.