Lunar eclipse to occur Saturday morning


Just before moonset on Saturday morning, a lunar eclipse will occur low in the western sky.

For anyone willing to get up early enough, the eclipse will begin just about 5:45 a.m. on Saturday. Fortunately, for tired Utah residents, the earth will be passing directly between the sun and the moon for nearly an hour, giving Utah residents a nice window to catch the eclipse.

“It’s neat to see the moon be red, as opposed to it’s normal color,” said Eric Hintz, a physics and astronomy professor. “Sometimes partial eclipses are okay, it just dims a little, but it’s not that nice red. But this will be a full red one.”

Hintz also suggested going to the NASA website to look up eclipses for further details on the upcoming eclipse.

“The NASA website is absolutely fabulous,” Hintz said. “A lot of times they will have the paths on the earth where it’s going to be. It gives you an idea if this one is going to be a long one or short one, or if it’s going to be partial.”

Rachel Barker, a senior studying English, shared a vivid memory of seeing a lunar eclipse as a 12-year-old.

“It’s weird, because you see the moon, and then it just turns red up in the sky,” Barker said, “All of the sudden, the moon was a different color, and it wasn’t anything I had a reference to. It’s a pretty nostalgic memory for me because there was this brilliant thing happening up in the sky, and I was with my family.”

The lunar eclipse will serve as a prelude to an annular eclipse which will occur in May. In an annular eclipse, the moon passes between the earth and the sun, partially blocking the view of the sun. Solar eclipses are similar to annular eclipses, except that they entirely obstruct the view of the sun, leaving a ring of light in the sky.

“They’re not as interesting to people, because if you can see any part of the sun, it’s still extremely bright,” said Hintz regarding annular eclipses. “So you can’t look at it, but everybody’s waiting for the solar eclipse in 2017. We’re all waiting for 2017. That’s the big one.”

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