Weekly Cosmos Report - Baja Night Sky #80

Date: 01/04/2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015:

Lunar eclipse explained

1) The International Space Station (ISS) makes a bright orbit over the Cape Region tonight. Look for it rising low in the SW around 7:37pm. It will pass near Betelgeuse in Orion around 7:39pm, slip through Gemini a few seconds later, then graze or eclipse Dubhe, the last star in the bowl of the Big Dipper, about 7:40:40pm before fading from sight in the NE by 7:42pm.

2) Total Lunar Eclipse: April's Full Moon rises at 6:12pm, Friday. It will be followed by the shortest total lunar eclipse of the century early Saturday morning, April 4, from 4:58am to 5:03am, as the big orb is setting in the west. During those 5 minutes of totality, look for the Moon turning a reddish color due to sunlight curving through Earth's thin atmosphere and reflecting of it back to Earth. It should be dark enough to find the handle of the Big Dipper in the NW and follow its arc to Arcturus and then Spica above the eclipsed Moon. The partial phase of the eclipse will be about an hour and 40 minutes on either side of totality.

3) Happy eclipse birthday to hijo Bruce, CEO and head of Research & Development for Sheldon Sails & Kitesurfing. Thanks Bruce, for dragging us down here 18 years ago to see the Baja Night Sky. Nothing has been the same since.

4) Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday morning, April 5, in Baja. Remember to spring ahead one hour.

By Tom at

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