Tonight is the Last Lunar Eclipse Until December 2010

Last Revised on February 20, 2008

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Last lunar eclipse in years is here. Don’t miss it. Tonight will be your last chance to see a total lunar eclipse before December 2010. Saturn, Regulus also visible.

Unlike solar eclipses which require protective eyewear, lunar eclipses are safe to view with the naked eye.

Weather permitting, the total eclipse can be seen from North and South America. People in Europe and Africa will be able to see it high in the sky before dawn on Thursday.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the full moon passes into Earth’s shadow and is blocked from the sun’s rays that normally illuminate it. During an eclipse, the sun, Earth and moon line up, leaving a darkened moon visible to observers on the night side of the planet.

Wednesday’s total eclipse phase is to last nearly an hour. Earth’s shadow is expected to blot out the moon beginning around 7 p.m. on the West Coast and 10 p.m. on the East Coast. West Coast skygazers will miss the start of the eclipse because it occurs before the moon rises.

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