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Big Island skies may provide good lunar eclipse viewing

April 14, 2014 - 1:24pm

After the full moon rises at sunset Monday, a total lunar eclipse will begin at 6:53 p.m. Hawaii time, according to the W. M. Keck Observatory.

Gusty trade winds are bringing drier than normal air and quickly blowing away most clouds, increasing the chance of good viewing for Big Islanders, according to Keck. Leeward locations will provide the best viewing.

The partial phase will begin about 7:53 p.m. At this time, the moon will appear red or black, depending on atmospheric conditions, as it travels into the shadow of Earth.

The total lunar eclipse starts at 9:07 p.m. leaving the moon very dark in appearance. At 10:25 p.m., the moon will leave the shadow of the Earth and begin to lighten.

Monday’s total lunar eclipse is the first of two that will occur in 2014. The second total lunar eclipse will occur Oct. 7 with the partial phase starting at 11:14 p.m. and the total eclipse at occurring at 12:25 a.m. Oct. 8.

In all, four eclipses will occur this year, two lunar and two solar.

On April 29, the Southern Hemisphere will be treated to a rare type of solar eclipse. A partial solar eclipse will occur Oct. 23.