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April 13. 2014 9:12PM

Best viewing time for Tax Day's 'Blood Moon' over NH: 3:08 a.m. Tuesday

This year, tax day could have Granite State residents seeing red in more ways than one.

Tuesday, when some taxpayers feel like the government wants them to squeeze blood from a rock, the moon will appear blood-red in a total lunar eclipse, one of four consecutive total lunar eclipses (a tetrad) that will be visible between now and September 2015.

Tuesday morning's eclipse is followed by another eclipse about six months later on Oct. 8, and a third eclipse six months after that on April 4, 2015. The final lunar eclipse in the tetrad is on Sept. 28, 2015.

"Hopefully we'll have clear weather for at least one of them," said Ted Blank, president of the New Hampshire Astronomical Society. "Luckily the eastern part of the U.S. will be able to see all or part of every one of this upcoming tetrad of eclipses."

The phrase "blood moon," while not an astronomical term, is used to describe the red or orange appearance of the moon when the sun's rays reflect off of the Earth's atmosphere during a lunar eclipse. The depth and hue of the color can be affected by temperature, humidity and the amount of dust particles in the atmosphere.

New Hampshire residents can view the total eclipse starting at 3:08 a.m. EST Tuesday. Full coverage will visible until approximately 3:36 a.m. EST, and the entire eclipse will last just over an hour.

As with any lunar eclipse, the best viewing is away from city lights and, although telescopes do give a more detailed view, the phenomenon can be seen with the naked eye. Tuesday's weather forecast calls for rain, so the lunar eclipse may not be visible at all here if cloud cover arrives early enough.


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