Tired of Fourth of July fireworks? Try moonwatching!
On the morning of July 6, moonwatchers from Hawaii to Bangor, Maine, and Key West, Fla., can witness the longest total lunar eclipse since 1859. The moon will be about as far from the Earth as it ever gets, so it will take longer for the moon to pass through the shadow of the Earth. The eclipse begins at 1:33 a.m. EDT Tuesday, and should be total by about 2:38 a.m. Once the moon moves into the shadow of the Earth, it may appear copper or red, thanks to atmospheric pollution.
Atmospheric scientists hope to get new information on the Earth's atmosphere - particularly the amount of dust in it. Geophysicists and lunar scientists also expect to refine their knowledge about lunar rocks by studying the rate of cooling on the moon's surface as the eclipse begins.m