Full lunar eclipse delights Americas, first of year

Apr 15, 2014 by Marcia Dunn
As the moon completely crosses the earth's shadow, the first of four total lunar eclipses, called the Blood Moon, occur in Whittier, Ca., USA on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Nick Ut )

Sky-gazers in North and South America were treated to a full lunar eclipse—at least those fortunate enough to have clear skies.

The moon was eclipsed by the Earth's shadow early Tuesday, beginning around 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT) for 5½ hours. The total phase of the eclipse lasted just 78 minutes.

For some, the moon appeared red-orange because of all the sunsets and sunrises shimmering from Earth, thus the name "blood moon."

It's the first of four eclipses this year and the first of four total lunar eclipses this year and next. The latter is a rare lineup; the next so-called tetrad of total lunar won't occur until 2032-2033. In the meantime, get ready for a in two weeks.

NASA got good news Tuesday: Its moon-orbiting spacecraft, LADEE (LA'-dee) survived the eclipse. Scientists had feared LADEE might freeze up in the cold darkness.

"Keep little LADEE in your prayers as you gaze up at the beautiful eclipsing moon late Monday night!" NASA wrote on its LADEE website prior to the eclipse.

The end is near, however, for plucky, little LADEE.

The spacecraft is circling the moon ever lower and, by Monday, is expected to crash as planned into the back side of the moon, far from any historic artifacts from the Apollo era.

An airliner crosses the moon's path, Monday, April 14, 2014, above Whittier, Calif., approximately one hour before a total lunar eclipse. Then, on April 29, the Southern Hemisphere will be treated to a rare type of solar eclipse. In all, four eclipses will occur this year, two lunar and two solar. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

LADEE—short for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer—was not designed to withstand a prolonged eclipse. It completed its science-collecting mission in March and has been on overtime ever since.

NASA launched LADEE last September from Virginia.

The moon turns an orange hue during a total lunar eclipse on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in the sky above Phoenix. On April 29, the Southern Hemisphere will be treated to a type of solar eclipse. In all, four eclipses will occur this year, two lunar and two solar. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Earth's shadow is cast over the surface of the moon as a total lunar eclipse is seen though a Magnolia tree top in the sky over Tyler, Texas at 2:57 CDT on Tuesday morning, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman)

This photo shows the Earth's shadow cast over the surface of the moon as a total lunar eclipse over the Chabot Space and Science Center observatory in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

This eight picture combo shows a total lunar eclipse over Panama City, Panama, early Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Tuesday's eclipse is the first of four total lunar eclipses that will take place between 2014 to 2015. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)


Explore further: Americas to get glimpse of total lunar eclipse

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TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Apr 15, 2014
"Recent books capitalizing on the event include "Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs" by Washington state author Mark Biltz; "Blood Moons Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel, and the Four Blood Moons" by Oklahoma pastor Mark Hitchcock; and "Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change" by Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee... Hagee writes that every time a tetrad occurs on Jewish feast days, something traumatic and "world-changing" happens to Israel... This time... a Rapture will occur where Christians will be taken to heaven, Israel will go to war in a great battle called Armageddon, and Jesus will return to earth. Hagee planned a special televised event..."

-And a cookout with plenty of burnt offerings. Just so long as he's not passing around that koolaid that smells like burnt almonds, I suppose it can't hurt. Seeing as it always makes them look like idiots. But that didn't phase the 7th day Adventists did it? They built a whole religion on failed predictions. Go figure.
Noumenon
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 15, 2014
For someone who hates religion, it seems odd that that is all you talk about.
Solon
not rated yet Apr 15, 2014
Were there any space based instruments capturing this event?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 16, 2014
For someone who hates religion, it seems odd that that is all you talk about.
No I think that religion and philosophy are both impediments to progress. Pay attention.
Noumenon
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 16, 2014
For someone who hates religion, it seems odd that that is all you talk about.
No I think that religion and philosophy are both impediments to progress. Pay attention.


Not really, for one thing those who would think to put religion before science are unlikely to be the ones who would have 'made progress' in any case (even if they were not religious),... and 'philosophy' is merely a term with sweeping connotation, including theoretical physics. As I informed you, every theoretical physics that purports to explain what or how Reality is, engages in philosophy at some level during the process. Many top rank physicists have written extensively on the subject. Only one with naiveté could so easily disentangle one from the other.

TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 16, 2014
those who would think to put religion before science are unlikely to be the ones who would have 'made progress' in any case (even if they were not religious)
But that would exclude kant yes? Because he favored jesus over reason.
and 'philosophy' is merely a term with sweeping connotation, including theoretical physics
Again, the formal philobabble that you champion has nothing to do with the common use of the word. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with science as it is practiced today.
every theoretical physics that purports to explain what or how Reality is
They DONT. They do experiments, gather data, make theories, and try to repeat those experiments.

Theyre not hoping that by the end of the day they will explain Reality. Recognize this Term of yours as another place-saver for you pseudoreligionists, like the word god or 'the nature of' bullshit. But why mommy, why?

No scientist out there is trying to explain what or how Reality 'is'.