Lunar eclipse tonight, Astronomy Night, Nov. 26

By Michael Beckage

We have a total lunar eclipse tonight and a Seal Beach Astronomy Night at the end of the month. Total Lunar Eclipse Tuesday Morning, November 8.

We have a rare opportunity to witness a total lunar eclipse on Tuesday morning. The Earth’s shadow first starts to noticeably cover the moon at 1:09 a.m. and totality arrives at about 2:16 a.m. During totality the moon doesn’t go dark but can turn beautiful shades of red or brown due to sunlight refracted around the Earth by our atmosphere, hence the term “blood moon” that you may have heard. A total lunar eclipse is a wonderful sight to behold with the eye alone but viewing with binoculars or a telescope makes it even better! To me the most beautiful and exciting part of a lunar eclipse is when the moon appears as bright crescent just before totality, followed by the first stages of totality. That happens between 2 and 2:30 a.m. If you want to see the eclipse but sleep as much as possible, my advice is to get up at 1:45, then go back to sleep when you’ve seen enough. If you can’t get out to see the eclipse (or the clouds roll-in), Lowell Observatory and Griffith Observatory plan to stream the eclipse live, and I am guessing you will be able to watch a recording at a more reasonable hour. Here are the links:

Griffith Observatory Lunar Eclipse Broadcast

Lowell Observatory YouTube Channel

Since the eclipse happens in the middle of the night, there are no local public viewing events scheduled.

Seal Beach Astronomy Night – Saturday November 26 at 7 p.m.

Let’s enjoy some astronomy with an ocean view! A slim crescent moon will hang low in the Western sky as night unfolds. The rest of the evening we will concentrate on Saturn, Jupiter, and finally Mars later in the evening! The rings of Saturn, cloud bands & moons of Jupiter, and Mars never fail to inspire awe. Our knowledgeable volunteer astronomers will also be happy to show you the best star clusters and deep sky objects the fall sky has to offer. Look for telescopes across the street from Bogart’s Coffee House at 905 Ocean Avenue.

If you have a telescope, I hope you will consider bringing it out to share the view with the public. Hopefully, the clouds will stay away, and we will have some astronomical fun and sip a hot drink in the park together. Thank you, Bogart’s, for promoting Astronomy Nights in Seal Beach for over a decade and congratulations on celebrating 20 years in business!