All this freaking out on Facebook about tonight’s “bloody moon,” or “red moon” eclipse or whatever you wanna call it is driving me crazy, so here are some things for you to consider before you get to marvel at Mother Nature’s awe-inspiring beauty and finally shut the hell up.
First, you should know there’s a party planned at the Palermo Planetarium. There’s going to be live music, giant screens and telescopes available for anyone willing to stay awake all night. It’s like the Lollapalooza of nerds. The observation party begins tonight at 3 am and it’s free for anyone who wants to join (I love this town.) Here’s some info about tonight’s event on the planetarium’s official site.
This is what you should be ready for:
- The lunar eclipse will be visible from Argentina in the early hours of the morning. And by early I mean 2 am, not 7 am. So if you want to see it, get ready to stay awake all night. That’s right. Think of the most inconvenient moment to be awake tonight. Got it? OK, that’s when the moon will turn red.
- The moon will be visible today after 6 pm. According to planetary officials (heh) the moon will “look like it always does: round and white.” That’s right. These guys went to college for this.
- However, in the wee hours of the morning (I hate that expression,) the moon will suddenly turn red. To be more exact, the eclipse will begin at 1:53 am, when the moon enters the penumbra (actual term.) That’s when only a portion of the light source is obscured by the occluding body. Basically nothing will change.
- At 2:58 am you’ll be yelling at God and the universe for scheduling the eclipse at such an inconvenient time, but just so you know, that’s not going to accomplish much. At that time is when you’ll be able to witness the first changes, since the moon will be entering the umbra, the innermost and darkest part of a shadow, where the light source is completely blocked by the occluding body (totally stole that part from Wikipedia.) Yes! This is the part you were waiting for! The moon will look the apple logo, like someone just took a big bite, because the Earth’s shadow will be covering it.
- At 4:07 am and for 78 minutes, the moon will look like Mars. To be more exact, it’s at 4:46 am that the moon will look extremely red. In a normal eclipse, the moon would just disappear from the sky, driving the aborigines of Papua New Guinea into a frenzy because their backward beliefs consider it to be a bad omen. But thanks to the sunlight’s reflection, this time the moon will just look red, driving us Westerners into a frenzy, because our backward beliefs consider it to be a bad omen.
- Yes. That’s local news network C5N wondering whether this red moon is somehow related to The Bible and some kind of prophecy. You’re welcome.
- The final stage of the eclipse comes at 5:25 am. Little more than an hour later, at 6:33 am, the moon will begin to leave the shadows to become the white chunk of dust we’ve come to love.
- Some minutes later the sun will be up and you will want to kill yourself once you realize you have to go to work and you stayed up all night for this.
Hey, whatever man! I warned you against it, now deal with it.
Wait. That came out wrong.