This Sunday night into Monday morning let's hope for some cloudless skies over the Ark-La-Tex so we can get a great view of the full "Super Flower Blood Moon" eclipse.

What is a Blood Moon Eclipse?

According to NASA, a blood moon is simply the moon that appears to be red in color due to some light from the sun still falling on the surface of the moon, but indirectly. This indirect light, or refraction, is because the moon is completely in the Earth's shadow during an eclipse.

This eclipse will be visible to over half of the earth's population, from Africa to North and South America, most of us will be able to see at least a partial eclipse. Here in the Texarkana area, we will be able to see the full eclipse depending on cloud cover of course.

The July 2018 Lunar Eclipse
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What's in a Name?

  • Super: Bigger and brighter than usual.
  • Flower: Any eclipse in the month of May.
  • Blood: The color the moon appears during the eclipse.
  • Moon: You know, the moon.
Total Lunar Eclipse Gives January A Blood Moon
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When?

Sunday night into the wee hours of Monday. The partial eclipse will begin at 9:28 PM CDT and should be fully eclipsed by 10:29 PM. The full eclipse will be over by 11:54 PM, the remaining partial eclipse will be over completely by 12:55 AM CDT.

The maximum eclipse will be at 11:11 PM CDT, this is when the moon is exactly in the middle of the earth's shadow.

There's a terrific 3D interactive globe on TimeandDate.com that illustrates the viewing path of this eclipse. If you're a space geek like me you will want to check it out, it's really cool.

The July 2018 Lunar Eclipse
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How To View

Space.com recommends that you go outside at least 20 minutes before the eclipse starts so your eyes can adjust to the darkness. By the way, that also means you're not supposed to look at your phone during that adjustment time, every time you do it takes more time for your eyes to re-adjust to the dark.

When Is The Next One?

For us in East Texas and Southwest Arkansas, we have another partial eclipse this year coming up in November, but we won't see another full eclipse until March 14, 2025.

Total Lunar Eclipse Over Germany
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Cell Phone Photos of the Eclipse

Since most of us don't have or can't afford an expensive 35mm camera with a tripod and telephoto lens, I thought maybe the rest of us can find some help in getting a great shot of the eclipse with our phone cameras. Good news, you can, it's pretty tough to do though. The reason is most cell phones are auto-focusing and auto-adjusting to the bright light given off by the moon, but the camera's sensor is thrown off by the darkness that surrounds the moon. So you end up with a really bright, fuzzy ball of light in your photo with no detail. It's going to take a little understanding of how your phone works and maybe a little practice leading up to the event. Here is a great article on how to get the best shots your phone can produce from the good folks at NASA.

Happy moon watching.

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