Catch tonight's lunar eclipse virtually!

Posted by Karri Ferron
on Monday, April 14, 2014

The total lunar eclipse of March 3/4, 2007. // photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis
With the first total lunar eclipse in more than two years coming up in less than 10 hours, many astronomy enthusiasts have their eyes glued to weather forecasts. Right now, things are looking OK for Waukesha, Wisconsin, home of Astronomy magazine’s offices, with an April snow shower (ick!) expected to pass and clear skies arriving in time for totality. But seeing as I don’t always trust weather forecasts, I’m keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed anyway.

If the outlooks look less promising for your area or totality isn’t visible from your location, the power of the Internet is here to make sure you can still witness the event. I’ve rounded up a few ways you can watch the Moon pass through Earth’s shadow:

Slooh is providing a double show of sorts. Today, Mars made its closest approach to Earth. Because this event occurred so close to the eclipse, the website is covering both. Slooh will begin Mars coverage at 9 p.m. EDT tonight (2h UT on the 15th) and then transition to coverage of the total lunar eclipse starting at 2 a.m. EDT (6h UT). Viewers can watch on or by downloading the Slooh iPad app. The live image stream will be hosted by Slooh’s observatory director, Paul Cox, and Astronomy Contributing Editor/Slooh Astronomer Bob Berman.

The Virtual Telescope Project has organized astroimagers throughout the region where the total lunar eclipse will be visible to capture the event and share it with the world. Hosted by Italian astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, coverage begins at 2:30 a.m. EDT (6h30m UT) and will feature eclipse images from observatories in Florida, Arizona, Nebraska, New Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will feature coverage of the total lunar eclipse on its USTREAM channel starting at about 12:45 a.m. EDT (4h45m UT). NASA astronomer Mitzi Adams and astrophysicist Alphonse Sterling also will answer questions in a live Web chat beginning at 1 a.m. EDT (5h UT). The chat module will go live on this page at approximately 12:45 a.m. EDT (4h45m UT).

But if you’re lucky enough for a good location and clear skies, visit “Watch a total lunar eclipse April 15” for complete viewing information. Happy Moon watching!

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