This could be considered a story about TV programming, if readers were to imagine a time before the invention of television — when celestial events were the closest thing available to mass entertainment programming.
Astronomers have given us notice that a total eclipse of the moon is set to take place early Saturday. Residents of the West Coast of the U.S. will have the best look at it, starting at about 4:58 a.m. PT, but the entire country will reportedly be able to see at least a part of the event.
Vox reports that the totality will last about five minutes.
“The moon will slowly wander into the Earth’s shadow,” the report notes. “Eventually, the shadow will completely envelop the moon and block nearly all sunlight, creating a total eclipse and causing the moon to glow red from small amounts of light passing through our atmosphere.”
Business Insider adds: “Observers in Alaska and Hawaii will see the total lunar eclipse from start to finish, while viewers on the East Coast will see only part of the moon disappear beneath Earth’s shadow. That’s because the moon will set before the moment of totality — when the sun, Earth, and moon are exactly aligned and Earth’s shadow completely eclipses the moon, turning it that iconic blood-red color.”
It will be the first total lunar eclipse of 2015, with the next one due Sept. 28. On the U.S. mainland, California viewers should have front-row seats. In that state, the action is expected to start around 3 a.m. local time, with “totality” closer to 5 a.m.
“For New York residents, the show will begin at 5:01 am ET and continue until the moon sets beyond the horizon at 6:46 am ET,” Business Insider notes.