Understanding Lunar Eclipses
On April 4, 2015, skywatchers in parts of North America, South America, Asia and Australia will have a chance to see a total lunar eclipse. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon enters Earth’s shadow and becomes illuminated by filtered sunlight passing through the planet's atmosphere. The light casts a warm glow on the moon's disk, causing it to temporarily appear orange or red. The duration of a total eclipse varies depending on how long the moon is shaded by Earth’s central shadow, called the umbra. The eclipse on April 4 will be quite short, lasting less than five minutes. But on September 28, 2015, the date of the next eclipse, the event will last over an hour. Watch the video to learn more.
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center