(November 8, 2003) -- If the weather cooperates and it's not cloudy or rainy, shortly after sunset today (Nov. 8 starting about 5:30 p.m. or shortly before), LB should see an eclipse of the moon...if you know where to look and ideally have a clear view of the eastern horizon (because the best part of the eclipse will be when the moon will still be low in the sky.)
A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth and moon line up and the moon moves through the earth's shadow, causing the moon to darken.
L.A.'s Griffith Observatory says the moon will rise 12 degrees north of due east at 4:51 p.m. (local sunset)...but probably won't be visible until about 5:30 p.m. when the sky darkens sufficiently. The moon will be totally eclipsed from 5:06 p.m. to 5:30 p.m...but likely won't be visible due to lingering light from the sunset.
"People should first see the moon a few minutes after 5:30 p.m. when it begins to move out of the inner, dark part of the earth's shadow," Griffith Observatory says. "At 5:30 p.m. the moon is only 7 degrees high as seen from Los Angeles, so an unobstructed eastern horizon is essential (and binoculars would be useful). The eastern, or lower, part of the moon emerges first, and the moon will look like a crescent that grows thicker by the minute," the Observatory's web site says.
Griffith Observatory adds, "By 6:00 p.m. the moon is one-quarter of the way out of the dark part of the earth's shadow, and it is a comfortable 13 degrees high. It should be readily visible low in the east (weather permitting). It becomes more easily seen as it continues to emerge and to rise higher until it has entirely escaped the umbra [earth's main shadow] at 7:04 p.m. Then only the upper part of the moon will be darkened slightly. By 7:30 p.m. the eclipse is essentially over, although the moon does not exit the outer, light part of the earth's shadow until 8:21 p.m."
The Observatory provides the following Eclipse Timeline (in Pacific Standard Time):