Gregory Sloan is a senior research associated at Cornell University’s Center for Radiophysics and Space Research and has been involved with launching and operating the Spitzer Space Telescope. He comments on the total lunar eclipse expected on Tuesday, April 15.

He says:

“We have a total lunar eclipse coming up in the wee hours of next Tuesday morning, April 15. This will be a nice excuse for a work break for anyone pulling an all-nighter to get their taxes done.

“The moon will touch the Earth's outer shadow at 12:54 a.m., and at 1:58 a.m. will begin entering the central region of the Earth's shadow. From 3:07 to 4:25 a.m., it will be completely inside the Earth's inner shadow.

“During that time, it'll have a deep red color, because the only light that hits it will be what passes through the Earth's atmosphere. The Moon will be red for the same reason that sunsets are red - because the atmosphere is better at scattering bluer light.

“In order to see this eclipse, the trick will be to be awake. Anyone who sleeps through gets a second chance in six months, on Oct. 8. Unfortunately, that eclipse will also be in the early morning.”

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