Depending on where you happen to be this coming March 3rd (save perhaps Alaska or Eastern Australia), there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be able to catch the full lunar eclipse, when Earth blocks most of the sunlight to the moon so that it appears a dark red-orange haze. I’ve collected some hints, tips and tools to ensure you maximize your eclipse viewing experience no matter where you are:
- Find the right time for your location. Have a look at the chart above (click to make it larger if you need to) — where will you be on March 3? I’ll be in North America (Las Vegas to be specific) so the eclipse will occur at moonrise. If you’re in Asia or Australia, the eclipse will be visible at moonset. If you’re in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, the eclipse will happen late at night, after moonrise but before moonset when the sky is at its darkest.
- When does the moon set or rise on March 3? Well, that depends on where you are! Luckily they have everything on the Internet, including this form to put in your location and get the exact time the moon will rise and set. Plugging in Las Vegas tells me the moonrise will occur at 17:51 on March 3rd, or 5:51 pm for you citizens.
- Now what? Okay, now that you know when the eclipse will be visible depending on where you are, how do you get the best view? If you’re on the East Coast of North America you’re in luck, as this is the best spot to see it. “Find a place with a clear view of the eastern horizon and station yourself there at sunset,” says this guide from NASA. “As the sun goes down behind you, a red moon will rise before your eyes.”
- Capture the moment. If you’d like to try your hand at photographing the lunar eclipse, this guide from MrEclipse.com has everything you need. Don’t worry, Mr. Eclipse promises it is “fun and easy!” If you take some good photos, be sure and share them on the Gadling Flickr pool. Who knows, maybe it will be selected as a photo of the day.
So don’t forget: Saturday, March 3, 2007. Mark your calendars.