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Lunar eclipse to occur early Saturday

Published December 9, 2011 8:42 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Wasatch Front residents may not get to see all of it, but there will be an eclipse of the moon starting about 5:45 a.m. Saturday morning.

"The dark, easily visible part of the eclipse will start when the moon is low in the western sky," said Patrick Wiggins, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador to Utah.

According to Wiggins, eclipses of the moon occur when the moon passes into the shadow of the earth. The last total eclipse of the moon visible from Utah occurred in 2008. The next one will occur in 2014.

This will be a total eclipse, but Wiggins said that before that occurs about 7:05 a.m., the moon will probably have set for most Utahns and the approaching dawn will block out much of the show.

Unlike eclipses of the sun, which require special observing equipment to protect eyes, moon events such as the one Saturday require no special viewing equipment.

Wiggins said the next sun eclipse will occur next May and most of the sun will be covered for much of the state.

Those looking for more details should log on to http://utahastro.info.