Night sky: Moon will turn red in eclipse tomorrow

2008-02-20 00:00

Tomorrow morning a total lunar eclipse takes place, and a red full moon will be seen low in the west at daybreak.

According to psychohistorian Auke Slotegraaf, this is the last eclipse visible from southern Africa until 2011.

“The prominent phase of the eclipse starts at 3.43 [am], when the Earth’s dark inner shadow falls on the Moon, which takes on a red colour,” said Slotegraaf.

By 5 am, the Moon will be totally covered in shadow, bathed in red light, and remain so until 5.51 am.

While watching the eclipse, look out for Regulus, in the constellation Leo the Lion, below the Moon. A short distance to the right and higher up is the planet Saturn.

Further information on the eclipse is available from www.planetarium.co.za.

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