Rare total lunar eclipse to be visible on May 15

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On May 15, Calgarians can see a rare red moon as a total lunar eclipse will be visible across Canada.

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Sunday will mark the first total lunar eclipse to be seen in Alberta this year.

The celestial event takes place when the moon travels through the earth’s shadow in space, and only with the right alignment between the sun, earth and moon.

According to a press release published by Telus World of Science, during the eclipse, the moon will enter the earth’s dark shadow, taking on a dark red or rusty appearance.

“Although no direct sunlight reaches the moon during the umbral eclipse, the moon is illuminated by a small amount of long wavelength sunlight
refracting through the earth’s atmosphere,” the release said. “After the partial eclipse ends, the Full Moon of May, known as the Flower Moon, will again be shining in the night sky.”

The lunar eclipse requires no special viewing equipment, and is safe to watch with the naked eye.

Telescopes and binoculars will offer better details of the moon, but are not required. A location that provides an unobstructed view of the southeast horizon will offer the best views.

The total eclipse is set to begin at approximately 9:28 pm and end at 10:54 pm The penumbral eclipse is expected to end around 12:51 am

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