LRO and the Lunar Eclipse of April 15, 2014: Shadow View

  • Released Monday, April 7, 2014

In the early morning hours of April 15, 2014, the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse, the first of four that are visible in the Western Hemisphere in the next two years. This animation shows the changing appearance of the Moon as it travels into and out of the Earth’s shadow, along with the times at various stages. Versions of the animation have been created for each of the four time zones of the contiguous United States.

All of North and South America will see this eclipse, and you won’t need special equipment to see it. Just stay up late, go outside and look up!

The penumbra is the part of the Earth’s shadow where the Sun is only partially covered by the Earth. The umbra is where the Sun is completely hidden.

The animation includes the position of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. LRO is powered by sunlight, but during the eclipse, it will have to rely on its battery for almost three hours.

The star field that appears behind the Moon during totality. The Moon is in Virgo. Because of the narrow field of view, no easily recognized stars are visible here; Spica is just out of frame toward the lower right.

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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Monday, April 7, 2014.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:51 PM EDT.


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