TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) There is only one lunar eclipse in 2019 and Southern Idaho has a front row seat to the full event Sunday January 20, weather permitting. If weather permits, around 8:30 p.m. you will start to notice the bottom left of the moon starting to turn darker and between 9:41 p.m. to 10:43 p.m. the moon will have a reddish orange amber hue to it during totality.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth's shadow. Unlike the solar eclipse, in which the moon passes between the Earth and the sun blocking out the sun's light, the lunar eclipse occurs at night during a full moon and can be viewed without protective eye-wear.
The Earth actually produces two shadows; a large, light fuzzy one called the penumbra and a smaller, darker one called the umbra located inside the penumbra. The umbra is the dark area where most of the eclipse takes place.
You have probably heard it refer to as a “blood moon” because of the amber color it turns when it is completely inside the earth’s shadow. The reason the moon turns a reddish color is because enough sun light is passing through the edges of the earth’s atmosphere. Imagine all the earth’s sunrises and sunsets being projected onto the moon’s surface all at once. That is where the color comes from.
If you are looking for a place to observe the eclipse, the Centennial Observatory at the Herrett Center will be open during the event starting at 7:30 pm Sunday evening.