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Look Up. Lunar eclipse visible in Central Florida sky Sunday night

A view of a previous lunar eclipse. Photo: Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College.
A view of a previous lunar eclipse. Photo: Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College.

Central Floridians are in for a celestial show this weekend with a lunar eclipse happening Sunday night. The Earth will slip between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow on the lunar surface.

This upcoming lunar eclipse will begin around 10:30 p.m., with the Earth’s shadow slowly creeping onto the moon. By 11:30 p.m. or 12 midnight, the moon will appear red.

Why red? Seminole State College planetarium director Derek Demeter says the Earth’s atmosphere acts as prism, bouncing red light onto the lunar surface. "As the moon enters the actual shadow of the full shadow of the Earth, that red light gets casted on the moon."

Lunar eclipses happen about once or twice a year, during the full moon.

Weather, so far, is favorable for viewing across Central Florida. "Looks like we're going to have clear skies this Sunday into early morning Monday," said Demeter. "Our chances are high for us to see this eclipse."

The Emil Buehel Planetarium at Seminole State College is hosting an in-person viewing with telescopes at its campus in Sanford, along with a virtual event to see a stream of the eclipse happening in real time.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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