7:40 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Clouds May Block Blood Moon

The first lunar eclipse in more three years will take place overnight Monday into early Tuesday, but cloudy weather may make it hard to see the celestial show.

A montage of images of the moon from the December, 2010 lunar eclipse.
Credit NASA/JPL-via Kieth Burns

The moon will start sliding into the earth’s shadow just before 2 a.m. Tuesday, reaching a full eclipse by about 3:45 a.m. and ending around 5:30 a.m. The eclipse will change the hue of the moon to a reddish color. This is where the term “blood moon” comes from.

Unfortunately, the National Weather Service forecast for the Triad is calling for cloudy skies and perhaps rain. If the skies clear up, the eclipse will be visible without any special equipment. Tom English is an astronomy professor and director of Guilford Technical Community College’s Cline Observatory. He says if the weather clears the eclipse will be worth watching.

GTCC's Tom English describes what the night sky will look like during the lunar eclipse.

If the viewing of the eclipse ends up blocked by the clouds, there will be other opportunities. English says tonight is the first in a series of four lunar eclipses between now and September, 2015. The last total lunar eclipse that was visible in North Carolina was in December 2010.