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Lunar eclipse viewable Monday night

HONOLULU — The Bishop Museum announces a total lunar eclipse from the night of Nov. 7 into the early hours of Nov. 8 that will be viewable from Hawai‘i.

According to information on the museum’s website, the moon will begin to move into the Earth’s shadow starting at 10:02 p.m. on Nov. 7, and at 12:16 a.m. on Nov. 8, will start to turn red as it enters the center of the Earth’s shadow. The red color will start fading as the moon starts to move out of the Earth’s shadow from around 1:41 a.m., and the eclipse ends at 3:56 a.m.

KHON2 news states this is the last total lunar eclipse for this year, and the last total lunar eclipse for three years. The next eclipse will take place on March 14, 2025.

The red color of the eclipse occurs from sunlight passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, the same reason sunsets produce the reds and oranges.

Lunar eclipses only happen during the full moon phase because that is when the sun, earth and moon are in line, states the museum website. This does not take place on every full moon because the moon’s orbit is tilted in relation to the Earth’s orbit around the sun, making the moon’s shadow happen above or below the shadow of the Earth.

When the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, or umbra, this causes a total lunar eclipse.

According to information from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, since the moon is traveling above the Pacific Ocean during the eclipse, Hawai‘i and Alaska are well-situated to witness every stage of the event.

For this eclipse, viewers do not need any special equipment to observe it. However, binoculars or a telescope will enhance the view and red color. NASA recommends that it’s best to be somewhere away from the city or street lights for the best experience.

The next night sky event is the Leonid Metero Shower Peak that takes place on Nov. 17 and 18, Bishop Museum says.

The moon will rise at 1:50 a.m. on that date as a waning crescent, and the best viewing is following midnight through dawn.

Leonids have an intense peak every 33 years and, according to Bishop Museum, were responsible for the greatest meteor show over Hawai‘i in recent time, including the 2001 shower, and the 1966 shower that was one of the greatest on record. Bishop Museum forecasts that this year’s event is not expected to produce more than 15 to 20 meteors an hour.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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