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U.S. to have front-row seat for lunar eclipse

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — North and South America, get ready for the first eclipse of the year— in color.

Early Tuesday, the moon will be eclipsed by Earth's shadow. This total lunar eclipse will be visible across the Western Hemisphere. The total phase will last 78 minutes, beginning at 3:06 a.m. EDT and ending at 4:24 a.m.

The moon will be rising in the western Pacific, so only the last half of the eclipse will be visible there. In Europe and Africa, the moon will be setting, so there won't be much, if anything, to see.

Even though the moon is in the Earth's shadow, it should appear colorful, some shade of red or orange. That's from light around the edges of the Earth — essentially sunrises and sunsets — splashing on the lunar surface and faintly lighting up the moon, said Alan MacRobert, senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine.

On April 29, the Southern Hemisphere will be treated to a rare type of solar eclipse.

In all, four eclipses will occur this year, two lunar and two solar.

Tuesday's eclipse may damage a NASA spacecraft that's been circling the moon since fall. But no worries: it's near the end of its mission.

Scientists don't know if robotic orbiter LADEE will withstand the prolonged cold of the hours-long eclipse. Even if it freezes up, LADEE will crash into the far side of the moon the following week as planned.



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