The moon turns coppery red during the April 2014 lunar eclipse. Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen
The moon turns coppery red during the April 2014 lunar eclipse. Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

San Diegans will have a good chance to see Saturday’s total lunar eclipse if Mother Nature cooperates.

Unless it is cloudy, people throughout Southern California will be able to view the eclipse, a representative for the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles said.

The lunar eclipse — which is the result of the moon passing into the shadow cast by the Earth — can be viewed safely with the unaided eye, though telescopes or binoculars may enhance the view.

During the eclipse, the moon will not become fully dark, but it will reflect a faint copper or red color, the result of sunlight being filtered and bent by the Earth’s atmosphere.

The event will last 4 minutes, 43 seconds, making it the shortest lunar eclipse for the rest of the 21st Century, according to astronomers.

Here are some key eclipse times for skywatchers tomorrow:

  • 2:01 a.m.: Penumbral eclipse begins;
  • 3:15 a.m.: Umbral first contact, when first portion of the moon is visibly eclipsed;
  • 4:58 a.m.: Moon is completely eclipsed;
  • 5 a.m.: Greatest eclipse;
  • 5:02 a.m.: Moon emerges from full shadow;
  • 6:44 a.m.: Moon sets in the west at the end of the darkest partial eclipse.

— City News Service