Lunar Eclipse Feb 20, 2008

Canadians from sea to sea to sea should be able to see a red or orange moon Wednesday during a total lunar eclipse — weather permitting.

The partial eclipse will begin at 9:43 p.m. AT (10:13 NT, 8:43 ET, 7:43 CT, 6:43 MT and 5:43 PT), NASA’s website said, with the total eclipse, when the moon is completely shaded by the Earth’s shadow, beginning an hour and 18 minutes after the partial eclipse.

Residents of the tip of Vancouver Island, the western edge of B.C.’s northern coast and the southwest corner of the Yukon will miss some of the partial eclipse, a NASA map shows.

The total eclipse is expected to last 51 minutes, although the overall eclipse will last three hours and 26 minutes.

The space agency is predicting that "the moon will probably take on a vivid red or orange colour during the total phase" because there have not been any recent gas and dust emissions which block the sunlight and cause "dark" eclipses.

The moon will appear to be red because the only light hitting it "comes from dim sunlight filtered red by Earth’s atmosphere and refracted into Earth’s shadow," Todd Carlson, assistant editor of the Canadian astronomy magazine SkyNews, said in an article on its website.

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