The morning of Saturday, April 4 will feature the shortest total lunar eclipse of the past century, which should be visible from the western half of North America. Here’s how to watch it from anywhere in the world.
If you rise and shine extra early this coming Saturday morning, and head outside to look at the moon, you’ll be in for a treat. In the hours before sunrise, the full moon will pass directly through Earth’s umbra – the deepest part of the planet’s shadow – turning blood red for a short time.
All of Canada, from coast to coast to coast, should be able to see at least some part of the eclipse, which starts at 5:01 am EDT (6:01 am ADT to 2:01 am PDT). However, exactly how much of it anyone sees will depend on exactly where they live.
For most of eastern Quebec and in the Maritimes, just before the moon sets, residents may notice that it dims ever so slightly. This is due to the moon passing into the Earth’s penumbra – the edges of the planet’s shadow. Some can notice this if they watch carefully, but unfortunately, it’s not always easy to spot this part of a lunar eclipse.
As you move further west from there, though, more of the eclipse becomes visible, and for longer. The following chart shows what the moon will look like at maximum eclipse for various cities that will see the partial eclipse, along with when the eclipse starts for that area, and when the moon sets (all times are local, eclipse thumbnails courtesy timeanddate.com).
– Montreal, Ottawa: starts at 6:15 am, sets around 6:40 am.
– Toronto, Sudbury: starts at 6:15 am, sets around 7:00 am.
– Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie: starts at 6:15 am, sets around 7:15 am.
– Thunder Bay: starts at 6:15 am, sets around 7:30 am.
– Winnipeg: starts at 5:15 am, sets around 7:00 am.
– Regina, Saskatoon: starts at 4:15 am, sets around 6:40 am.
– Calgary, Edmonton: starts at 4:15 am, sets around 7:10 am.
– Vancouver, Victoria: starts at 3:15 am, sets around 6:45 am.
The only region of the world that will see the entire eclipse, from when the moon first crosses into the Earth’s penumbra until it completely passes through to the other side, spans the Pacific Ocean (including Alaska in the east, and as far west as eastern parts of Siberia, Indonesia and Australia). The west coast of Canada misses out on this by only a sliver of time.
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SOURCE: The Weather Network, Scott Sutherland