Western U.S. states to see unusual total lunar eclipse early Saturday morning
While the East Coast misses out, residents in central and western states will catch a unique total lunar eclipse Saturday morning. Where visible, the final lunar eclipse of 2011 promises to be eye-catching.
The eclipse will officially begin at 3:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST), but not until 4:45 a.m. PST will Earth’s umbral shadow start darkening the moon’s edges. Total eclipse is set to begin at 6:06 a.m., and last for 51 minutes.
Sky watchers in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest will see the fully eclipsed moon emerge from Earth’s shadow just before sunrise. Assuming clear conditions, the eclipsed moon will appear impressively large and low in the sky. Over the Rocky Mountains and northern Plains, the full moon will still be entirely in Earth’s shadow as it sets along the northwestern horizon. Farther east, from the Ohio Valley into the Southern Plains, observers will see the partially eclipsed moon set before it reaches totality.