Total Lunar Eclipse, August 28
As August draws to an end, watchers of the night sky will be in for a treat. In the early morning hours of August 28, sky watchers across much of the world can look on as the Moon crosses in to the shadow of the Earth, becoming completely immersed for one-hour and 30 minutes, a period of time much longer than most typical lunar eclipses. In fact, this eclipse will be the deepest and longest in 7 years. The event begins 54 minutes past midnight PDT (3:54 a.m. EDT) on August 28. At first, there is little change. The outskirts of Earth's shadow are as pale as the Moon itself; an onlooker might not even realize anything is happening. But as the Moon penetrates deeper in to the Earth’s shadow, a startling metamorphosis occurs. Around 2:52 a.m. PDT (5:52 a.m. EDT) the color of the Moon changes from moondust-gray to sunset-red. This is totality, and it lasts for almost 90 minutes.With the Sun blocked, you might expect utter darkness, but instead the ground at your feet appears to be aglow. Why? Look back up at Earth. The rim of the planet seems to be on fire. Around the Earth's circumference you will witness every sunrise and sunset in the world—all at once. This incredible, colorful light beams into the heart of Earth’s shadow, transforming the Moon into a landscape of copper moondust and golden hills. The eclipse will be visible from Australia, parts of Asia and most of the Americas, but not from Africa or Europe. The view is different from each location on the planet. Here in the United States, Pacific observers are favored. For them the entire eclipse will unfold high in the post-midnight sky. However, on the East Coast, totality will be cut off early by sunrise.