A year full of eclipses
photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons user Tuanna2010
 
Lunar eclipses are coming, and get ready. 2014 will host two beautiful total lunar eclipses that will be visible over the United States. That is not all; 2015 will bring another set of lunar eclipses to our skies! This particular grouping of lunar eclipses is known as a tetrad.

On April 14-15 (depending on your time zone), the first lunar eclipse of the year will take place over the skies of North America. 
The eclipse is set to begin at approximately 5:58 am UTC on April 15th (1:58 am EDT on April 15, or 10:58 pm PDT on April 14th). Totality will begin at 7:06 UTC. The eclipse will end approximately 3 1/2 hours later, at 9:33 UTC.
 
This eclipse will be visible over most of North America and Hawaii. The Earth's shadow falls upon the Moon to create a total lunar eclipse, and as this occurs the Moon's color may change to a striking red, or a "blood moon" as is becoming an increasingly popular term in popular culture.
 
Blood Moon
Image of Moon in totality courtesy Science@Nasa

The next lunar eclipse of the year will take place on October 8 in the early morning for observers in North America. After that, there will be two more lunar eclipses in 2015: the first is a partial eclipse on April 4, followed by a total eclipse on September 28th.
 
Image of Eclipse details
Eclipse details courtesy Mr. Eclipse

If your skies are cloudy or you are unable to see the eclipse from your location, you can view the eclipse remotely via the fine folks at SLOOH. Their event page is here: http://bit.ly/1neiszh


Thumbnail of Eclipse activity

The Night Sky Network has a special activity you can use to demonstrate both lunar and solar eclipses, and explain why they do not occur during every full or new moon: http://1.usa.gov/1qoVCaa




For more details, check out the official NASA Eclipse page for the 2014 eclipses at http://1.usa.gov/1gFQ8mB  Additionally, NASA maintains an excellent eclipse page with more dates here: http://1.usa.gov/1oUfVil    

There is also an excellent video detailing the eclipse on Vimeo: http://bit.ly/PZkSqy  

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