Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2004 October 27
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
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Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight
Credit: Fred Espenak, Sun-Earth Connection, GSFC, NASA

Explanation: Go outside tonight and see the total lunar eclipse. Tonight's eclipse is easy and convenient for much of the world to see. Anyone who can spot a full Moon can see it fade out as the Earth's shadow engulfs it. No protective glasses or expensive telescopes are needed, just a little moxie. The above illustration shows how the eclipse will appear across the Earth. The total lunar eclipse starts at 9:14 pm Eastern Daylight Time, equivalent to 1:14 am UT in the morning for sky enthusiasts in the United Kingdom. From the moment the first part of the Moon disappears to the moment that the last part of the Moon reappears will be 3 hours and 40 minutes. For those unfortunate enough to suffer clouds, the eclipse can also be followed over several live webcasts.

World Series Lunar Eclipse: Live TV shot makes this eclipse possibly the most seen live eclipse ever.
Tomorrow's picture: Tantalizing Titan

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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& Michigan Tech. U.