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Full Moon Will Be Putting On a Show

People on the West Coast can watch a lunar eclipse early Wednesday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 25, 2021 1:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – The first total lunar eclipse in more than two years coincides with a supermoon early Wednesday for quite a cosmic show, per the AP. East Coasters are out of luck when it comes to the eclipse part, though West Coasters will get to see it. This super “blood” moon will be visible across the Pacific, as well as the western half of North America, the bottom of South America, and eastern Asia. Better look quick: The total eclipse will last about 15 minutes as Earth passes directly between the moon and the sun. But the entire show will last five hours, as Earth's shadow gradually covers the moon, then starts to ebb. The reddish-orange color is the result of all the sunrises and sunsets in Earth’s atmosphere projected onto the surface of the eclipsed moon.

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“Hawaii has the best seat in the house and then short of that will be California and the Pacific Northwest,” says NASA’s Noah Petro. The moon will be more than 220,000 miles away at its fullest. It's this proximity, combined with a full moon, that qualifies it as a supermoon, making it appear slightly bigger and more brilliant in the sky. Last month’s supermoon, by contrast, was 96 miles more distant. Unlike a solar eclipse, there's no harm in looking at an eclipsed moon. “For people who might feel like we’re missing out, set your calendars for Nov. 19 of this year,” Petro says. This will be a nearly total eclipse where the moon dims but doesn’t turn red." NASA put out this video to check local viewing times. (Read more moon stories.)

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