(MEDIA GENERAL) – A very short lunar eclipse will be able to be seen by some Americans before sunrise early Saturday morning.
If you consider a decent view of the eclipse being able to see the totally eclipsed moon while it’s still above the horizon, points such as Denver and west will have the best chance, according to Jim Lattis, Director of UW Space Place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In Denver, for example, the totally eclipsed moon will be about 18 degrees above the horizon at 6am MDT (8am EST). People there won’t see the whole eclipse, but according to Lattis, they’ll see all the best parts.
West of Denver, you’ll see more, and people east of Denver will see less. “Out in the Pacific, they get to see the whole thing with the moon high in the night sky,” explained Lattis.
Lattis said there are generally two lunar eclipses each year. On average, we see half of them from any given location. Total eclipses like Saturday morning’s generally come around every couple of years.
It’s hard to estimate exactly the timing of how long an eclipse will last. It’s common for lunar eclipses to last more than an hour, as one September 28 is scheduled to do, but this one will only last a few minutes. Some estimates say it will last anywhere from five to 12 minutes.
For those in the right spot, the lunar eclipse can be seen with the naked eye. And, it’s completely safe to do so, unlike a solar eclipse which requires special glasses.