LATEST ARTICLES

The Backyard Astronomer: The next 100 years

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The night of October 5-6, 1923, forever changed the way astronomers saw and studied the cosmos. It was believed the Milky Way we see on clear moonless nights was the ‘universe’. Little did they know a simple 45-minute photograph would throw them a curve. It was long suspected a small patch of light located in the constellation of Andromeda was a cloud and referred to as the Andromeda Nebula.

The American astronomer Edwin Hubble set his sights on imaging this object with the massive 100-inch Hooker telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory in California, the largest telescope in the world at that time. Placing a 4 by 5-inch photographic glass plate at the back of the grand telescope, he exposed the camera on the ‘cloud’. Because of the immense light-gathering power of the large telescope, the image revealed individual stars including a variable star called a Cepheid. These types of stars help astronomers determine distance.

With this valuable measuring tool, the object was determined not to be part of our so-called ‘universe’ but a completely different one. It is officially called the Andromeda Galaxy residing some 2.5 million light-years away and containing an estimated one trillion stars. Since then many more galaxies have been imaged and their distance measured.

By 1929, Hubble showed that the universe was expanding faster than the speed of light which is hard to imagine. But all galaxies seem to be moving away from each other except for the merging galaxies whose gravity attracts each other such as our local group. This is how galaxies grow. So if galaxies are racing away from each other, they must have all started from a single point long long ago. In 1931 the Belgium priest father George Lemaitre, considered the Father of The Big Bang, stated “The day of the Big Bang, was a day without a yesterday”.

By the 1940s radio waves were first detected both from the sun and a supernova, the remains of a massive star that exploded in our galaxy that is named the Crab Nebula. The 200-inch Palomar Telescope in California was the largest in the world in 1949. The larger the telescope mirror, the farther astronomers can peer into space and the farther we see back in time.

The ’60s and ’70s saw Apollo astronauts landing on the moon six times, two Viking crafts parked on the planet Mars as well as launching identical Voyager 1 and 2 crafts measuring about the size of a subcompact car. They were designed to take closeup images as well as collect data from the outer planets and their moons. These were Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Launched 46 years ago, they are now 24 billion and 20 billion kilometres respectively from Earth.

Other than using ground-based telescopes with giant mirrors piercing the cosmos in optical light, technology has now allowed astronomers to study the cosmos in radio, microwave, infrared, ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma-rays. However, we are not restricted to earth-bound instruments. Spacecraft such as the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray, Spitzer, Compton Gamma-ray and the newly launched James Webb Space Telescope as well as many more are hard at work viewing the cosmos in amazing detail.

The sole purpose of the orbiting Kepler Space Telescope was to search for exoplanets, planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy. To date, there are more than 5,500 confirmed planets and thousands of candidates yet to be confirmed. But the majority of these worlds would be as large as Jupiter but closer to their star as Mercury is to the sun.

The first ground-based discovery of an exoplanet was back in 1995. It is believed there are possibly more planets than stars in the Milky Way. There are a very small number of planets thought to be located in the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ such as Earth where oceans stay liquid. Too close to the star water would boil away, and farther out would freeze. We have recently received samples from the asteroid Bennu, delivering pristine material from the origins of the solar system after the birth of our sun, dating back about five billion years.

I am looking forward to seeing boots on the moon in 2025 as well as the first humans on the planet Mars in about 10 to 15 years. Decades ago a rendez-vous with the sun was an unthinkable goal for obvious reasons. The Parker Solar Probe is presently studying our daytime star close-up and personal. At times it dives very close in the solar atmosphere before retreating in elliptical orbits. On September 17 of this year, it approached a mere 7.26 million kilometres above its surface at a speed of 635,266 kilometres per hour or a staggering 176 kilometres per second. For reference, the Sun lies 150 million kilometres away. The heat shield is designed to keep the internal electronics a nice 30 degrees Celsius while the outer part is exposed to 1,400 degrees Celcius

I believe we will eventually discover a new type of physics that could explain the workings of dark matter and dark energy that is thought to have played a role in the creation of the universe. We have the technology as well as the ambition to pursue and unlock the mysteries of our fascinating cosmos. The path to discovery is ever-evolving and I cannot wait for the next big discovery.

Clear skies.

Known as “The Backyard Astronomer”, Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator, guest speaker, monthly columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as well as a STEM educator. He has been interviewed on more than 55 Canadian radio stations as well as various television stations across Canada and the U.S. In recognition of his public outreach in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union has honoured him with the naming of Asteroid (22406) Garyboyle. Follow him on Facebook and his website: www.wondersofastronomy.com

Backyard astronomy: a partial solar eclipse

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A few times each year the sun, moon and Earth perform a cosmic lineup in space producing an eclipse. This year our planet will witness two solar and two lunar events.

On Saturday, October 14, 2023, skywatchers along a path starting in Oregon through Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and ending in Texas will see an annular eclipse of the sun. The rest of North America (depending on your geographic location) will see a partial eclipse with varying percentages of the sun covered by the moon.

Although this seems like an incredible event to view and photograph, it comes with great risk and danger. Unlike a lunar eclipse where the moon slides into the earth’s shadow, turning a burnt orange or coral colour and is completely safe to view, the sun is a far different story. Protective measures must be applied to prevent eye and camera damage.

Solar eclipses come in basically three flavours, total, annular and partial. The first two are dictated by how far the moon is away from Earth at eclipse time. In its monthly orbit around our planet, the moon’s elliptical orbit causes an approximate 50,000-kilometre or 30,000-mile variance between the closest and farthest approach called perigee and apogee.

The so-called “supermoon” is the combination of a full moon and the closest distance to us which we experienced at the end of August with the “Blue Moon” or the second full moon in the same month..

On Oct 14, the moon will be farther from Earth and therefore not block the entire solar disk. The classic total eclipse is when the entire sun is completely covered for a few seconds up to a maximum of seven and a half minutes depending again on the moon’s distance in its orbit. Much like a hockey goaltender challenging a shooter as he skates out and retreats in the net.

Since at no point will the sun be safely covered by the moon, DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN without protective means. Unless you have a certified solar filter or a number 14 welder’s glass which many of us do not possess, you can still safely see by items such as a vegetable strainer, spaghetti collinder or anything with small holes, even a Ritz cracker. Holding up the stainer or cracker allows you to view little crescent suns on a sheet of paper in safety.

For the photographers, Baader solar film or other solar filters are a must or you run the risk of melting your camera’s CCD chip or your cell phone sensor. 

Eclipses are an awe-inspiring wonder of nature that can be enjoyed safely. 

SUBHEADLINE: Rebuilding

I have set up a GoFundMe page to help rebuild my observatory here in the countryside. The main goal of the observatory is taking my astronomy outreach to the next level by broadcasting live images from the telescope over the internet. I have dubbed this astrocasting. Here, people can ask questions and run this as a type of Astronomy 101. 

Another aspect will be searching remote galaxies for supernovas. These are massive stars that exploded and can outshine their host galaxy for a couple of weeks. Once a discovery is made, the professionals can study it.

Clear skies.

Known as “The Backyard Astronomer”, Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator, guest speaker, monthly columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as well as a STEM educator. In recognition of his public outreach in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union has honoured him with the naming of Asteroid (22406) Garyboyle. Follow him on Facebook and his website: www.wondersofastronomy.com

Bring On The Sun

Our daytime star is an enormous ball of hot plasma. Like a string of pearls, 109 earths line up side by side across its equator and 1.3 million of our worlds would fit inside.

Ever since its birth some five billion years ago, the sun has been producing light we see and enjoy, via nuclear reactions deep in its core. The journey of a light photon is not a direct path to the surface but bounces around taking thousands to hundreds of thousands of years to reach the solar surface called the photosphere. Once it does, the photons travel in space unhindered to reach Earth 500 seconds later. They go on to light up the moon, planets and anything else in our solar system.

This ball of super-hot material rotates at different speeds with its equatorial region spinning once every 25 days and a 35-day rotation close to the poles. Over the first half of its eleven-year solar cycle, the internal magnetic field twists, tangles and stretches like an elastic band. As the field lines intertwine, looking like tangled extension cords, they poke through the surface creating dark sunspots. These are cooler regions measuring 3,900 degrees Celsius compared to the surface temperature of 5,500 degrees Celsius. Eventually, the stored energy has to go somewhere.

Now magnetic field loops are seen rising from sunspots. Just like crossing two electrical wires resulting in a spark, these loops sometimes cross and produce a solar flare that rips off the photosphere, flying through space at hundreds of kilometres per second. Flares directed at Earth take about three days to travel 150 million kilometres and can produce very spectacular Northern Light aka the Aurora Borealis.

Another source of Northern Lights is the opening in the sun called Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). These billion-ton clouds of charged particles belch out of the sun and fly through space at up to 3,000 kilometres per second in rare cases.

Solar Max, or the highest amount of solar activity, is expected to peak in July 2025. Over the past few months, aurora activity has increased producing mid-range M-class flares and could in the not-too-distant future more severe X-class flares.

Once the sun reached solar max, it should begin to wind down its activity for another five to six years to reach solar minimum with no sunspots visible. The sun will look like a white billiard ball with zero sunspots seen. A good source to follow the goings on with our daytime star is spaceweather.com which is linked to my website.

Although sunspots can measure many times the size of the earth and are said to be “naked-eye”, that does not mean you can look at the sun directly. Approved solar filters of number 14 welder’s glass will protect you from serious eye injury or even blindness.

Although cell phone cameras are great for daytime images, they are improving for nighttime use.  DSLR cameras are still the best way to image the Northern Lights.

Place the camera with a wide-angle lens on a sturdy tripod and attach a cable release. Advance to ISO 1600 (light sensitivity) or higher. Set the lens on manual and focus it on a very bright star or distant light source until it is a pinpoint. Now you can take 8, 12 or 15-second images by triggering the cable release. This prevents touching the camera. Words cannot describe witnessing the aurora firsthand. These will be moments you will never forget.

Clear skies.

Known as “The Backyard Astronomer”, Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator, guest speaker, monthly columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as well as a STEM educator. He has been interviewed on more than 55 Canadian radio stations as well as television across Canada and the U.S. In recognition of his public outreach in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union has honoured him with the naming of Asteroid (22406) Garyboyle. Follow him on Twitter: @astroeducator, Facebook and his website: www.wondersofastronomy.com.

The backyard astronomer: spooky eyes

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Gary Boyle
Backyard Astronomer

The night sky is a fantastic collection of tiny dots. Most of these light sources are faint while a few are noticeably brighter. In addition to seeing hundreds or even thousands of distant suns residing at extreme distances, we can see the planets of our solar system.

Referred by the Greeks as the “wanderers”, five planets can be seen with the unaided eye against the starry background unless they are too close to the sun such as Mercury and Saturn. For the next few weeks, you can still see three in the western half of the sky.

We start overhead with orangy-coloured Mars to the top right of Orion the Hunter. This planet was closest to earth a couple of months ago and now appears a bit fainter as our distance increases. The red planet sets around 3:30 a.m. local time. Moving farther west we see the giant planet Jupiter. Any telescope will reveal its cloud bands and four Galilean moons and sets around 9:30 p.m. locally.

Our third world is the brightest of the trio. Venus sets about two hours after sunset and is now moving higher in the sky each night as it escapes the solar glare. This planet is completely shrouded in clouds making it so bright that it casts a faint shadow as seen from dark country locations, away from any light.

Step outside on a moonless night and let your eyes “dark adapt”. After about fifteen minutes, hold up a sheet of white paper facing the planet. Place your hand about six inches away from the paper while moving it slowly left and right. You should see a faint shadow on the paper. If you are still uncertain where the planets are, check any astronomy app on your smartphone or tablet.

Here is where the magic comes into play. With Jupiter moving closer to the horizon each night and Venus marching up the sky, both will appear closest together on March 1st. With the two brightest planets of the solar system meeting in a small area of sky the width of the full moon, they will appear as “spooky eyes”. This is also called a conjunction as two celestial bodies appear close together.

The pair’s close approarch is by line of sight only, they will not physically get close to each other.  Venus will be 204 million km from us while Jupiter will be 864 million km away.

It is believed the Star of the Magi was the great conjunction in which Venus and Jupiter appeared so close, they looked like one object. This occurred on the night of June 17, 2 BC.

Clear skies.Known as “The Backyard Astronomer”, Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator, guest speaker, monthly columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as well as a STEM educator. He has been interviewed on more than 55 Canadian radio stations as well as television across Canada and the U.S. Follow him on Twitter: @astroeducator, Facebook and his website: www.wondersofastronomy.com

Total Lunar Eclipse Nov. 8

In the early morning hours of November 8, 2022, North America will witness the last total lunar eclipse of the year.

This amazing sky show will play out with Eastern, Atlantic and Newfoundland time zones seeing most of the event until moonset. The rest of North America will enjoy the late but spectacular show. This is a very safe event as the full Beaver moon (full moon for November) will pass through the earth’s shadow for a maximum of three hours and forty minutes.

Eclipses do not occur each month, due to the slight tilt of the moon’s orbit around earth. Some months the full or new moon is positioned above or below the earth’s shadow cast into space. There are a few times each year when the Sun, Earth and Moon line up to give us a solar or lunar eclipse. Each can be partially or totally covered. Throughout antiquity, the “Blood Moon” was an omen of the impending doom of war or even demons. Superstition ruled the skies in the early days.

The reddish or brownish-orange tinge of the lunar surface seen during totality is caused by the solar rays refracting through the earth’s atmosphere, much like we see spectacular red sunsets at night. The next lunar eclipse will only be a slight partial of 12% on October 28, 2023, visible from the Atlantic provinces. The next total eclipse which all of North America can witness will be on March 14, 2025.

Eclipse times are:

Newfoundland and Labrador

Partial umbral eclipse begins: 5:39 a.m. Moon enters the earth’s shadow.

Total lunar eclipse begins: 6:46 a.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.

Greatest eclipse: 6:51 a.m. The eclipse moon begins to set in the west.

Total lunar eclipse ends: Moon ready set.

Partial umbral eclipse ends: Moon ready set. 

Atlantic Time

Partial umbral eclipse begins: 5:09 a.m. Moon enters the earth’s shadow.

Total lunar eclipse begins: 6:16 a.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.

Greatest eclipse: 6:59 a.m. The eclipse moon begins to set in the west.

Total lunar eclipse ends: Moon ready set. 

Partial umbral eclipse ends: Moon ready set.

Eastern Time

Partial umbral eclipse begins: 4:09 a.m. Moon enters the earth’s shadow.

Total lunar eclipse begins: 5:16 a.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.

Greatest eclipse: 5:59 a.m. Mid-point of the eclipse.

Total lunar eclipse ends: 6:41 a.m. Moon begins to leave the shadow as it sets in the west.

Partial umbral eclipse ends: Moon ready set.

Central Time

Partial umbral eclipse begins: 3:09 a.m. Moon enters the earth’s shadow.

Total lunar eclipse begins: 4:16 a.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.

Greatest eclipse: 4:59 a.m. Mid-point of the eclipse.

Total lunar eclipse ends: 5:41 a.m. Moon begins to leave the shadow.

Partial umbral eclipse ends: 6:49 a.m. Moon exits earth’s shadow.

Mountain Time

Partial umbral eclipse begins: 2:09 a.m. Moon enters the earth’s shadow.

Total lunar eclipse begins: 3:16 a.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.

Greatest eclipse: 3:59 a.m. Mid-point of the eclipse.

Total lunar eclipse ends: 4:41 a.m. Moon begins to leave the shadow.

Partial umbral eclipse ends: 5:49 a.m. Moon exits earth’s shadow.

Pacific Time

Partial umbral eclipse begins: 1:09 a.m. Moon will rise as the eclipse begins.

Total lunar eclipse begins: 2:16 a.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.

Greatest eclipse: 2:59 a.m. Mid-point of the eclipse.

Total lunar eclipse ends: 3:41 a.m. Moon begins to leave the shadow.

Partial umbral eclipse ends: 4:49 a.m. Moon exits earth’s shadow.

Known as “The Backyard Astronomer”, Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator, guest speaker and monthly columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as well as a STEM educator.

James Webb Space Telescope – Success

By Gary Boyle – The Backyard Astronomer

It is often said, a picture is worth a thousand words and the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope did not disappoint. During the news conference on July 12, the world had a ringside seat to the most remarkable images of the universe ever taken. Over the hour, five images left us wanting more. This is only the tip of the cosmic iceberg.

The deep field image showed thousands of galaxies including a few that look stretched. This is not a flaw of the telescope. It is the distortion caused by gravity from a foreground large galaxy. Einstein predicted this warping or the curvature of the fabric of space-time, much like someone standing on a trampoline where the rubber mat is distorted. The larger the object, the bigger the distortion of light.

To show the power of James Webb, the area of space where the deep field image was taken was as small as a grain of sand held at arm’s length. This cluster is located 4.6 billion light-years away. That is the amount of time it took the light to reach us and when the sun and planets were slowly being created from the solar nebula.

Launched on December 25, 2021, the mighty Ariane 5 rocket delivered the seven ton telescope into space where it was deployed and gracefully continued its journey. It travelled for another 30 days to its final position known as Lagrange 2, a point in space some 1.5 million kilometres from earth or about four times the earth-moon distance.

Unlike the Hubble which was launched in 1990 with a flawed mirror requiring a repair mission in 1993 outfitting it with corrective lenses, James Webb is too far for a service mission. Who knows if there will be such a mission down the road if needed, but for now, there are no plans to ever visit the telescope.

The $10 billion project is a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency along with other companies. Canada’s contribution is the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) used to point the massive telescope as well as the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS).

Thousands of people worldwide worked on this project which began in 1996 when it was first called the Next Generation Telescope. In 2002 the name was changed to James Webb Space Telescope who was the NASA administrator from 1961 to 1968. These were the early days of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.

The Webb project suffered setbacks along the way such as a redesign and the Covid pandemic did not help matters. When completed, the 18 gold-plated six-sided honeycomb-style mirrors measure a total width of 6.5 metres wide compared to Hubble’s 2.4-metre wide single mirror. This results in more light-gathering power along with its infrared capability to observe heat signatures through clouds of interstellar dust.

Another critical part of the telescope is the sun shield measuring the size of a tennis court. Comprised of lightweight material with special thermal properties, the five layers will provide a shield from the sun’s heat and light as well as the heat of its instruments allowing the sensitive infrared to work without interference. The mirror will operate at -223 degrees Celcius and the rest of the equipment close to absolute zero or -273 degrees Celsius.

In the wise words of Carl Sagan, “somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known,” The James Webb Space Telescope has opened a news portal to discovery. Will we someday glimpse the first stars and infant galaxies dating back 13.8 billion years? Only time will tell.

Clear skies.

Known as “The Backyard Astronomer”, Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator, guest speaker and monthly columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as well as past president of the Ottawa Centre of the RASC. He has been interviewed on more than 50 Canadian radio stations as well as television across Canada and the US. In recognition of his public outreach in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union has honoured him with the naming of Asteroid (22406) Garyboyle. Follow him on Twitter: @astroeducator, Facebook and his website: HYPERLINK “http://www.wondersofastronomy.com/” www.wondersofastronomy.com

A total lunar eclipse

A total lunar eclipse.

One of the best spectacles in the night sky is a total lunar eclipse. No special equipment is required to watch this cosmic lineup. In contrast to a solar eclipse, the lunar variety is very safe to witness and enjoy. On the night of May 15, the full Flower Moon with creep into the much larger earth’s shadow with the entire event lasting about three and a half hours.

Early civilizations called it the “Blood Moon” as our natural satellite would sometimes take on a reddish hue. Superstition tells the story of doom and gloom. The ancient Inca people would shake their spears and shout to scare off the jaguar they thought was eating the moon. Of course, it always worked. Other times the moon would turn a copper or burnt orange colour. This variation from one eclipse to another depends on how transparent or lack of our atmosphere is. The coloured lunar surface is the result of sunlight refracting or passing through our atmosphere, much like seeing a red sunset.

Although eclipses were terrifying events to various cultures, Christopher Columbus used a prediction from an almanac to save his shipwrecked crew from starvation. Months before the 1504 total eclipse, his crew was stranded off the coast of Jamaica. They were welcomed by the Arawak people and given food and shelter. Over time half the crew mutinied and began stealing and murdering some of the friendly Arawaks. Things became dire as the chief held back food resulting in starvation. Columbus knew of the predicted eclipse would occur in a few days and used it to his advantage. He fooled the chief into believing he had great powers to cause the moon to turn a fearful tinge of blood red.

On the night of February 29, the moon rose while entering earth’s shadow. This was of great concern to the villagers and they provided food to the crew once again. Columbus waited in his tent until the right moment as per the prediction. A few minutes before the end of totality, he announces that his gods had pardoned them. As he uttered these words, the moon begins to pull out of the shadow and appear normal once again. A rescue mission found Columbus and his crew at the end of June of that year.

We do not witness an eclipse every month because the moon has a slight incline of its axis as it orbits our planet. On a few special moments throughout the year the sun, earth and moon line up. Some events are total but others lineups result in the moon clipping the earth’s shadow. This is a partial eclipse and also occurs during a solar eclipse.

Although not necessary, try to head out of city limits and away from light sources for some great digital photography. Although a cell phone will record the eclipse, a DSLR camera on a tripod will be needed to capture the lovely Milky Way to the left of the eclipsed and much darker moon. Use a cable release to open the camera shutter for a few seconds during totality. Set the camera on manual and experiment with exposure times. Remember pixels are free.

The eastern and most of the central portion of North America will witness the entire eclipse from start to finish. For mountain and western time zones, the eclipse will be underway as the moon rises. Enjoy this must-see event if at all possible. The next total lunar eclipse will occur on November 8 of this year and favours the west coast.

Newfoundland and Labrador Time Partial umbral eclipse begins: 11:57 p.m. Moon enters the earth’s shadow.  Total lunar eclipse begins: 12:59 a.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.  Greatest eclipse: 1:41 a.m. Mid-point of the eclipse. Total lunar eclipse ends: 2:23 a.m. Moon begins to leave the shadow.  Partial umbral eclipse ends: 3:25 a.m. Moon completely exits earth’s shadow. 
Atlantic Time Partial umbral eclipse begins: 11:27 p.m. Moon enters the earth’s shadow.  Total lunar eclipse begins: 12:29 a.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.  Greatest eclipse: 1:11 a.m. Mid-point of the eclipse. Total lunar eclipse ends: 1:53 a.m. Moon begins to leave the shadow.  Partial umbral eclipse ends: 2:55 a.m. Moon exits earth’s shadow. 
Eastern Time Partial umbral eclipse begins: 10:27 p.m. Moon enters the earth’s shadow.  Total lunar eclipse begins: 11:29 p.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.  Greatest eclipse: 12:11 a.m. Mid-point of the eclipse. Total lunar eclipse ends: 12:53 a.m. Moon begins to leave the shadow.  Partial umbral eclipse ends: 1:55 a.m. Moon completely exits earth’s shadow. 
Central Time Partial umbral eclipse begins: 9:27 p.m. Moon enters the earth’s shadow.  Total lunar eclipse begins: 10:29 p.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.  Greatest eclipse: 11:11 p.m. Mid-point of the eclipse. Total lunar eclipse ends: 11:53 p.m. Moon begins to leave the shadow.  Partial umbral eclipse ends: 12:55 a.m. Moon exits earth’s shadow. 
Mountain Time Partial umbral eclipse begins: 8:27 p.m. Moon enters the earth’s shadow.  Total lunar eclipse begins: 9:29 p.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.  Greatest eclipse: 10:11 p.m. Mid-point of the eclipse. Total lunar eclipse ends: 10:53 p.m. Moon begins to leave the shadow.  Partial umbral eclipse ends: 11:55 p.m. Moon exits earth’s shadow. 
Pacific Time Partial umbral eclipse begins: 7:27 p.m. Moon will rise as the eclipse begins.  Total lunar eclipse begins: 8:29 p.m. Moon turns dark orange or red.  Greatest eclipse: 9:11 p.m. Mid-point of the eclipse. Total lunar eclipse ends: 9:53 p.m. Moon begins to leave the shadow.  Partial umbral eclipse ends: 10:55 p.m. Moon exits earth’s shadow. 
Clear skies.

Known as “The Backyard Astronomer”, Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator, guest speaker and monthly columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as well as past president of the Ottawa Centre of the RASC. He has been interviewed on more than 50 Canadian radio stations as well as television across Canada and the US. In recognition of his public outreach in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union has honoured him with the naming of Asteroid (22406) Garyboyle. Follow him on Twitter: @astroeducator, Facebook and his website: www.wondersofastronomy.com