Expired News - Did you miss Saturday's total lunar eclipse? Watch it right from here - The Weather Network
Your weather when it really mattersTM


Please choose your default site


Asia - Pacific



Did you miss Saturday's total lunar eclipse? Watch it right from here

Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Monday, April 6, 2015, 1:56 PM - The morning of Saturday, April 4 featured the shortest total lunar eclipse of the past century, which was visible for just a few minutes, from the western half of North America. If you missed it, or want to watch it again, we've got you covered!

An extra early 'rise and shine' on Saturday morning was a real treat for skywatchers with a good view of the moon. In the hours before sunrise, the full moon passed through edge of Earth's umbra - the deepest part of the planet's shadow - turning blood red for a short time.

Watch from anywhere, right here

Was getting up early not an option on Saturday? Did the weather not cooperate to give you clear viewing conditions? Just as they did for the March 20 total solar eclipse, the fine people at the Slooh Community Observatory had us covered. Their live broadcast feed offered views from both sides of the Pacific and several other points in the world, including Thunder Bay, Ont, and can be watched again from the embedded video above.

On Saturday morning, all of Canada, from coast to coast to coast, had a direct view at least some part of the eclipse, which started at 5:01 am EDT (6:01 am ADT to 2:01 am PDT). However, exactly how much of it anyone saw depended on exactly where they were at the time.

For any part of the country east of southwestern Quebec, a slight dimming of the moon's face was visible just before it set beyond the horizon. This effect was due to the moon passing into the Earth's penumbra - the edges of the planet's shadow. This is noticeable to some, but unfortunately for most, it's difficult to spot this part of a lunar eclipse, especially with the moon so close to the horizon. The reddish hue of the partial eclipse was not visible from these areas.

Further west from there, though, more of the eclipse was visible, and for longer. The graphic below shows maximum eclipse for various regions across Canada, along with the eclipse timing. All times are local, so if you went outside at the times listed over your region of the country, you had a chance to see it (weather permitting).

The only region of the world that could see the entire eclipse, from when the moon first crossed into the Earth's penumbra until it completely passed out the other side, spanned the Pacific Ocean (including Alaska in the east, and as far west as eastern parts of Siberia, Indonesia and Australia). The west coast of Canada missed out on this by only a sliver of time.

Shortest eclipse in a century

With this particular lunar eclipse - the shortest in the past century - you had to be extra vigilant to watch at just the right time to catch 'totality'. This is because, although the full run of the eclipse ran around 3.5 hours at the most (for those along the west coast), the eclipse was only in totality for about four or five minutes.

Why? As the image below shows, the moon passed through just the top part of the Earth's umbra.

The moon's position in Earth's umbra, with timing (in PDT). Credit: Science@NASA

So, while it still qualified as a total lunar eclipse, it wasn't as long as it would be if it passed directly through the centre of the umbra.

DID YOU MISS IT? Watch the video above or check out the photos snapped of the eclipse: Blood Moon: Best of viewer photos

Sources: NASATimeandDate.com | Slooh Community Observatory

RELATED VIDEO: This eclipse is part of a special 'tetrad' of lunar eclipses during 2014 and 2015. Check out the details, from NASA, below.

Default saved

Search Location


Sign In

Please sign in to use this feature.