Lunar ecpilse “will be visible in Durban”

A full lunar eclipse will happen tonight, from about 20:30. Expect to see the moon with a distinct red tint.

So I heard something about a full lunar eclipse that will be visible for Durban, so I decided to check it out with the SA Weather Service office at the airport. A forecaster there told me it will be completely visible.

Here’s what he said:

“From just before 20:30 tonight, the full lunar eclipse will start being visible. At 21:23 the total eclipse will be visible and it will last for over an hour-and-a-half. The moon will then move out of the Earth’s shaddow.

“We expect it to be clearly visible in Durban. We are forecasting no obstructions at this stage.”

The moon will, apparently, have a redish hue because the atmosphere filters out most of the blue-coloured light (thanks to The Mercury for this one). The meteorologist guy says it’s going to look “spectacular – I hope”.

How does this whole thing work? I tracked down a graphic which should explain it. But essentially it’s this: a lunar eclipse happens when the moon moves into the shadow created by the Earth, preventing the sun’s rays from hitting the moon surface. This will make the moon appear considerably darker.

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