If the clear skies hold out, and that's a big if, tonight is our first chance in three years to see a total lunar eclipse. At 3:18 EST this afternoon the Earth will start passing between the sun and moon, casting its shadow upon the moon. By 5:43 the moon will be completely covered with the Earth's shadow. Sunset occurs a few minutes later, after which the moon will turn a deep orange or red.
The total eclipse will last until around 7p.m. Miss this one and you'll have to wait until August 28th. Mr. Eclipse has a few suggestions on how to photograph a lunar eclipse.
Clouds may prevent us from seeing the eclipse, however. Although it is sunny and 55 degrees this morning, the skies should cloud up by mid-afternoon as the back end of the yesterday's big storm arrives. We may see a few showers, or even a thunderstorm. Tomorrow's weather should be very pleasant.
Speaking of planetary shadows, did you see the totally amazing new picture of Saturn?
Image of a moonrise over Sunnyside by Afulki on Flickr.