Kenyans marvel at total lunar eclipse
- The Met Department told Kenyans that the best time to catch the maximum eclipse is between 6:34 am and 9:5am, when the moon will appear to be red and completely submerged within the Earth’s shadow.
- A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes exactly between the sun and the moon, creating a shadow which stops solar rays reaching the lunar surface.
Kenyans and other sky watchers in Europe, Africa and the Americas, can expect to be treated to an unusual set of celestial circumstances where a total lunar eclipse will offer a view of a large, red moon on Monday morning.
The Kenya Meteorological Department said sky gazers in Kenya will be treated to celestial eye candy as the full moon turns coppery red during a total lunar eclipse.
The Met told Kenyans that the best time to catch the maximum eclipse is between 6:34am and 9:5am when the moon will appear to be red and completely submerged within the Earth’s shadow.
It will be the only total lunar eclipse of the year.
Time and Date website, www.timeandate.com, observed that the moon in Kenya will reach its greatest size at 6:34am and recommended that Kenyans go to a high point or find an unobstructed area with free sight to West-Northwest for best view of this rare occurrence.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes exactly between the sun and the moon, creating a shadow which stops solar rays reaching the lunar surface.
As the Earth blocks the sun, only slivers of light make it through the planet’s atmosphere and to the moon. Spectators can expect the moon to begin to darken slowly before turning red as it becomes completely caught in Earth’s shade.
According to The Guardian, the moon will be slightly closer to Earth than normal and appear slightly bigger and brighter than usual – a phenomenon called a supermoon.
The full moon will be closer to the Earth — about 222,000 miles (358,000 kilometers) away, notes the AFP. The total lunar eclipse is also called “Super Blood Wolf Moon.”
“If you were standing on the surface of the moon when this event was happening, and you were staring back at the Earth, what you would see is this beautiful reddish-orangish tinted ring,” Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History told The New York Times.
According to the AFP, Europe and West Africa will have a good view of the eclipse, but not all the way until the end. Eastern Europe will see the beginning of totality, but not the end.
‘North Africa and West Africa should see the end of totality, but will miss the final phases of the eclipse. The entire eclipse should be visible in North America, Central America and South America, as well as France, Belgium and Spain. That is, as long as the view is not obscured by clouds,’ notes the AFP. Already, Twitter, netizens from North America have captured images of the eclipse, with some excited sky gazers streaming into Instagram and YouTube.