Just as we're speedily closing on 2011, there's one event the world will be watching out for with bated breath. Tomorrow, millions across the globe will have their eyes glued to the wide expanse above, for it is the last total lunar eclipse mankind will witness, until 2014 – a good two years from now. Those in western North America may have to sacrifice their weekend morning for this one, since, NASA confirms that beginning at 4:45 am PST, the earth will begin casting its shadow on the Moon, making it turn a shade of red, entirely in a couple of hours. The total lunar eclipse, tomorrow will be visible to enthusiasts across Pacific side of North America, across the entire Pacific Ocean to Asia and Eastern Europe.
Moon during a total lunar eclipse
Those wondering about the quirkiness of it, should let Dr. Tony Philips who authored this NASA press release explain. According to him, “the delicate layer of dusty air surrounding our planet reddens and redirects the light of the sun, filling the dark behind Earth with a sunset-red glow. The exact hue (anything from bright orange to blood red is possible) depends on the unpredictable state of the atmosphere at the time of the eclipse“. Interestingly, the report also states that the colour of the Moon during a lunar eclipse is decided by the level of dust in the Stratosphere – the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere. If the Stratosphere is filled with dust from volcanic eruptions, then a lunar eclipse Moon appears black, if it's cleaner (which, scientists say it is), then depending on it, the shade of the Moon appears brighter.
The SLOOH Live Camera homepage
Exciting, as this may seem, for those who're not on the 'visibility' zone of the total lunar eclipse, and don't want to miss this spectacular spectacle, can watch it on their computer! Slooh, the online space camera is set to do the unthinkable! Tomorrow when millions go moon gazing, there will be some who'll see the magic unfold on the Internet. Slooh is all set to “cover the event LIVE using remote facilities in Hawaii, Asia, and Australia.” Those keen on witnessing the last total lunar eclipse, until 2014 on the Internet, can do so by clicking here, or by downloading the Slooh Android app, from the Android Marketplace.