HEAT ALERT

High heat and humidity continue on Long Island over the weekend

Full lunar eclipse tonight

Some will be treated to a a total lunar eclipse tonight, but clouds and scattered showers in Long Island's forecast will likely smother the show. For 78 minutes, the moon will be transformed into an

News 12 Staff

Apr 15, 2014, 2:08 AM

Updated 3,722 days ago

Share:

Some will be treated to a a total lunar eclipse tonight, but clouds and scattered showers in Long Island's forecast will likely smother the show.
For 78 minutes, the moon will be transformed into an eerie reddish ball that will hang like a Christmas ornament in the sky. That's because the sun, the earth and the moon will stretch out in a straight line in space with the moon plunging directly into the shadow of the earth.
At first, as the moon begins to move into earth's shadow, it will appear to gradually and mysteriously darken and then, as it becomes completely covered it will begin to glow with a reddish or coppery orange color.
The reason this happens is that sunlight is bent around the edge of the earth by our atmosphere, says News 12 meteorologist Joe Rao. To an astronaut on the moon, the sun would be hidden behind the earth, and backlit by a brilliant red ring of light composed of all of the world's sunrises and sunsets.
So, as the earth's shadow engulfs more and more of the moon, and depending on the state of our atmosphere, the totally eclipsed moon can appear a reddish orange, murky brown or dusky and gray, all depending on the effects of clouds and haze encircling our globe.
The show will get underway at 1:58 a.m. when the earth's dark shadow begins to appear as a bite on the moon's upper left edge. From 3:07 a.m. to 4:25 a.m. the moon will be completely immersed in the earth's shadow and the eclipse will then be in its total phase. After 4:25 a.m., the moon will slowly exit the shadow, the last bit disappearing on the moon's lower right edge at 5:33 a.m.
Viewers don't need to worry about damaging their eyes, because this is an eclipse of the moon, not the sun. A pair of binoculars or a telescope will be able to bring out the subtle shades and colors on the moon during the total phase.
On Long Island rain, cloudly skies and scattered shows are expected overnight, so residents may not get a glimpse of the rare sight.


More from News 12
1:57
HEAT ALERT: Scorching temperatures and humidity continue on Long Island; tracking afternoon storms

HEAT ALERT: Scorching temperatures and humidity continue on Long Island; tracking afternoon storms

0:20
Police: Motorcyclist killed in Plainview crash with tractor-trailer

Police: Motorcyclist killed in Plainview crash with tractor-trailer

1:09
Some Freeport parents say they weren't let inside Hofstra for their kids' high school graduation

Some Freeport parents say they weren't let inside Hofstra for their kids' high school graduation

1:57
Police: 48-year-old man found strangled in East Farmingdale

Police: 48-year-old man found strangled in East Farmingdale

0:38
Nassau police: ‘Disorderly’ UBS Arena patrons became violent; 5 arrested

Nassau police: ‘Disorderly’ UBS Arena patrons became violent; 5 arrested

0:51
Long Island state parks and beaches open full time amid hot weather conditions

Long Island state parks and beaches open full time amid hot weather conditions

2:09
Shoreham-Wading River School District honors student killed by drunk driver

Shoreham-Wading River School District honors student killed by drunk driver

1:41
Intense heat doesn't stop Long Islanders from enjoying weekend events

Intense heat doesn't stop Long Islanders from enjoying weekend events

2:13
Doctors say exercising outside in hot weather can be dangerous

Doctors say exercising outside in hot weather can be dangerous

0:32
City officials: 2 swimmers rescued from waters off Long Beach

City officials: 2 swimmers rescued from waters off Long Beach

0:30
Former teacher sues Diocese of Rockville Centre over firing from Maria Regina School

Former teacher sues Diocese of Rockville Centre over firing from Maria Regina School

1:33
South Huntington intersection renamed after local jazz musician

South Huntington intersection renamed after local jazz musician

0:23
Man sentenced to 22 years to life behind bars for sexually abusing 2 seniors in Mastic Beach

Man sentenced to 22 years to life behind bars for sexually abusing 2 seniors in Mastic Beach

1:37
Long Island's Ryan Dunn eager to be picked in NBA Draft

Long Island's Ryan Dunn eager to be picked in NBA Draft

2:32
Long Islanders head to Bethpage ice skating rink to avoid hot temps

Long Islanders head to Bethpage ice skating rink to avoid hot temps

2:10
Renewed push to pass Nick’s Law after fatal hit-and-run in Suffolk County

Renewed push to pass Nick’s Law after fatal hit-and-run in Suffolk County

0:44
LIU Post football team helps people with disabilities play sports

LIU Post football team helps people with disabilities play sports

0:29
FDNY hero from Islip to be honored with street renaming on Sunday

FDNY hero from Islip to be honored with street renaming on Sunday

1:48
Power to Feed: PSEG LI holds food drive in Levittown

Power to Feed: PSEG LI holds food drive in Levittown

1:42
Town of Oyster Bay opens community pools early to help residents beat the heat

Town of Oyster Bay opens community pools early to help residents beat the heat