East Texas to experience lunar eclipse Sunday night

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 1:36 PM CDT|Updated: May. 13, 2022 at 1:48 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - It’s coming, and weather permitting, you’ll be able to see it all over East Texas. And, with the help of TJC’s Earth and Space Science Center, we got a preview of Sunday night’s Blood Moon lunar eclipse.

If you want to see into the astronomical future, well Beau Hartweg, the director of Tyler Junior College’s Earth and Space Science Center, is the guy to see. He can show us the Sunday evening sky where there will be quite the event taking place.

“We are going to have a total lunar eclipse that will be completely viewable from start to finish in Tyler,” Hartweg said.

Tyler and beyond, unless clouds get in the way. And speaking of getting in the way, that’s what the Earth does to cause the eclipse.

“A lunar eclipse is when the Earth casts its shadow on the moon,” Hartweg said.

And yes, Beau and his magic planetarium can not only show the eclipse but can show us a view from space that shows how it happens.

“It’s going to get kind of what is sometimes referred to as a blood-red color. The moon will turn kind of an orangish-red color. And that’s the effect of the Earth’s shadow being cast upon the moon,” Hartweg said.

He said the reason it’s red is because of air. It’s a “distortion of light as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere.”

He says it’s the same reason we have those beautiful sunsets. However, that begs the question. How late do you have to stay up to see this one?

“The neat thing about this one is you don’t have to stay up so late to be able to see the total eclipse. About 10:30, 11 o’clock at night will give you a good, nice full, red moon,” Hartweg said.

And I just had to ask Beau the tough question.

“Does this have anything to do with Friday the thirteenth which is today?” I asked.

“No, it has nothing to do with Friday the thirteenth, of course. That’s just a coincidence,” Hartweg said.

He’s probably right, but a red moon near Friday the thirteenth only happens once in a blue moon.

The eclipse is coming to a sky near you on Sunday evening starting around 9:30 p.m. and will last until about 2 a.m.

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