Md. Will See A Lunar Eclipse Early Tuesday

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Cross your fingers for clear skies overnight because there will be a total eclipse of the moon and everyone in Maryland should be able to see it…if they can stay awake.

Mary Bubala reports the eclipse will begin at 1:30 a.m. as the moon begins to slide into the earth’s shadow.

“Very magical.  It’s fun to watch; it’s amazing to see it happen,” said Jim O’Leary, the director of the Davis Planetarium at the Maryland Science Center.

O’Leary says, unlike the solar eclipse, lunar eclipses are safe to watch without eye protection.

The Science Center is opening its doors to visitors at 1:30 a.m. for a special view from its rooftop observatory.

“The Maryland Science Center will be open with our observatory telescope in operation and we will have our staff here to answer questions and guide people through the eclipse and we can get a very close-up view of the moon through the telescope,” O’Leary said.

The moon will be completely under the earth’s shadow for about 50 minutes.  If you want to stay in bed until the best viewing, set your alarm for about 3:15 a.m.  During this time, the moon won’t be completely obscured because of indirect light coming from the earth’s atmosphere, so the moon will appear to change colors from light gray to orange and even deep red.

“It’s one of those cosmic happenings that we can watch even at the great distances of the moon—a quarter of a million miles away—we can get a sense of the moon moving through our shadow.  The shadow of our planet show into space,” O’Leary said.

It is free to come into the Maryland Science Center to view the lunar eclipse.  Doors open at 1:30 a.m.  Use the Key Highway side entrance and parking is free in their lot.

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