A heavenly show is on the horizon. Sunday’s super blood moon will be the longest total lunar eclipse that Canadians have been able to see in 15 years.
“The moon is going to go from its regular silvery color to a sort of coppery red color over the period of several hours,” explained Ron Brecher, a Guelph-based astrophotographer.
Brecher said he doesn’t plan on missing a second of the rare event, which begins on the night of Sunday May 15.
“It really brings home the geometry of our solar system because this requires a very precise alignment between the sun, the earth and the moon,” said Brecher. “It’s part of appreciating the environment and the world that we live in and the tiny little place that we hold in the universe.”
Astronomer Gary Boyle said the eclipse should be visible coast to coast in Canada though the exact rise and set will be different depending on time zones.
“It’s a good 3.5 hours. It’s going to be starting at 10:27 eastern time and the eclipse will be just after midnight at 12:11 and ends at 1:55 am,” said Boyle.
Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses like this Sunday’s are safe to view with the naked eye.
“For people who have never seen an eclipse it’s really something to see,” said Boyle. “It’s mother nature at her best.”
The best viewing conditions are from away from city lights, but Boyle said there’s no need for special equipment. Just keep in mind that seeing the eclipse will be weather dependent.
Brecher advised to live stream it if local conditions are poor or to get out under the stars anyway and enjoy what you can.
“Paying attention to what’s up there means you’re not looking down all the time,” said Brecher. “It’s good to look up sometimes.”
If you’re not able to get outside to see the moon or it’s cloudy, there will be several online livestreams.
NASA will be broadcasting the event live on YouTube starting at 9:32 pm EDT. The agency will also be holding a Q&A to discuss the science behind eclipse as well as NASA’s future plans for a manned moon mission with the Artemis program.
In Los Angeles, the historic Griffith Observatory will also be livestreaming the eclipse starting at 10:35 pm EDT and will have a timelapse video of the event posted to its YouTube channel the following day.
The Virtual Telescope Project will have a livestream featuring different views of the eclipse around the world, including from Montreal, Ottawa and Saint John, NB
With files from CTV Toronto
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