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Andy Steere

September's Total Eclipse of the Moon
News story originally written on September 25, 1996

On the night of September 26-27, almost everyone in the Americas and Western Europe will have a perfect chance to view total lunar eclipse (assuming the skies are clear).

The lunar eclipse will start on September 27th at 12:12:29 am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) when the moon will start to show very faint shading. Note that for observers in the Americas, because of the time difference, the lunar eclipse will actually start on September 26th instead of September 27th. The moon will enter into total eclipse about two hours later (2:19:20 a.m. GMT September 27th or 10:19 pm EDT on September 26th) when the Earth's shadow will completely cover the Moon. The moon will not be completely dark, however, because of the reflected light from the Earth's atmosphere. The total eclipse will last about 70 minutes ending at 3:29:30 a.m. GMT (September 27) and the moon will reappear.

For sky watchers in North American eastern time zone, the lunar eclipse will begin at 8:12 pm EDT (September 26) and end at 1:36 am EDT (September 27). The total lunar eclipse will commence at 10:19 pm EDT (September 26) and end at 11:29 pm EDT (September 26).

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