Total Lunar Eclipse Visible from Big Island this Weekend
Look up at the night sky this weekend and you’re likely to witness a very rare phenomenon.
A total lunar eclipse, visible from the Big Island and throughout the state, will begin Friday night, April 3, at 11:01 p.m. The eclipse will be full at 2 a.m. on Saturday, with the event ending at 4:59 a.m. Onlookers will be able to see the event with their naked eyes.
NASA is calling the eclipse the shortest of the century, with the Moon fully obscured in Earth’s shadow for only five minutes.
When fully eclipsed, the Moon will take on a chilling, reddish hue. Why red? This is actually the color of Earth’s shadow. The copper tone is caused by sunlight being filtered out by Earth’s atmosphere, creating a “blood moon” by eliminating other colors in the visible spectrum. Though it may appear eerie, it’s undoubtedly harmless and indeed rare enough to be worth the late night.
This event happens to be the third in a series of four total eclipses in a row happening in 2014 and 2015. The first occurred last year on April 15, the second in September of 2014, and the fourth and final is expected on Sept. 28 this year (this eclipse will not be visible from Hawaii).
This phenomenon of four successive lunar eclipses has only occurred twice in the last 100 years.