Full lunar eclipse delights Americas, 1st of year
by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer
April 15, 2014 01:35 PM | 937 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The moon glows a red hue during a lunar eclipse as it is framed between the steeples on the Annunciation Catholic Church in Houston, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Tuesday's eclipse is the first of four total lunar eclipses that will take place between 2014 to 2015. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Johnny Hanson)
The moon glows a red hue during a lunar eclipse as it is framed between the steeples on the Annunciation Catholic Church in Houston, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Tuesday's eclipse is the first of four total lunar eclipses that will take place between 2014 to 2015. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Johnny Hanson)
slideshow
This eight picture combo shows a total lunar eclipse over Panama City, Panama, early Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Tuesday's eclipse is the first of four total lunar eclipses that will take place between 2014 to 2015. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
This eight picture combo shows a total lunar eclipse over Panama City, Panama, early Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Tuesday's eclipse is the first of four total lunar eclipses that will take place between 2014 to 2015. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
slideshow
This photo shows the Earth's shadow cast over the surface of the moon as a total lunar eclipse over the Chabot Space and Science Center observatory in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
This photo shows the Earth's shadow cast over the surface of the moon as a total lunar eclipse over the Chabot Space and Science Center observatory in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
slideshow

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Sky-gazers in North and South America were treated to a full lunar eclipse — at least those fortunate enough to have clear skies.

The moon was eclipsed by the Earth's shadow early Tuesday, beginning around 1 a.m. EDT for 5½ hours. The total phase of the eclipse lasted just 78 minutes.

For some, the moon appeared red-orange because of all the sunsets and sunrises shimmering from Earth, thus the name "blood moon."

It's the first of four eclipses this year and the first of four total lunar eclipses this year and next. The latter is a rare lineup; the next so-called tetrad of total lunar eclipses won't occur until 2032-2033. In the meantime, get ready for a solar eclipse in two weeks.

NASA got good news Tuesday: Its moon-orbiting spacecraft, LADEE (LA'-dee) survived the eclipse. Scientists had feared LADEE might freeze up in the cold darkness.

"Keep little LADEE in your prayers as you gaze up at the beautiful eclipsing moon late Monday night!" NASA wrote on its LADEE website prior to the eclipse.

The end is near, however, for plucky, little LADEE.

The spacecraft is circling the moon ever lower and, by Monday, is expected to crash as planned into the back side of the moon, far from any historic artifacts from the Apollo era.

LADEE — short for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer — was not designed to withstand a prolonged eclipse. It completed its science-collecting mission in March and has been on overtime ever since.

NASA launched LADEE last September from Virginia.

___

Online: http://www.nasa.gov/LADEE/



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides