LE 1

Wednesday has to be the least exciting day of the week. Your energy boost from the weekend is likely spent, and you’ve still got a couple more days of work until your next chance to cut loose and have some fun.

At least, that’s how things generally are. This week, we’re psyched about Wednesday, because October 8 is bringing a lunar eclipse to Japan, and as part of the celestial show, the moon is turning red.

According to Japan’s National Astronomical Observatory, when the moon rises tonight at around 6:15, it’ll appear slightly chipped, as a result of passing into the Earth’s shadow. It’ll become further obscured as the night goes on, until it returns to its normal appearance around 9:35.

Weather forecasts are calling for clear skies across Japan tonight, which is great news for amateur astronomers. Unfortunately, amateur status means you have to do something else to pay your bills, and in always industrious Japan, most working professionals won’t be able to take a three-and-a-half-hour break to enjoy the eclipse from start to finish. So if all you can manage to sneak away for is a few minutes, this handy diagram from planetarium designer and Twitter user Kagaya can help you choose when to make your play.

As shown in the second moon from the bottom, by 6:50 roughly half of the moon will be hidden, and the eclipse will slide from partial to total at 7:25. It’ll reach its fullest stage at 7:55, so if you want to make the most of your moon-gazing, a little before eight o’clock is the time you want to shoot for.

Best of all, as the eclipse reaches its maximum phase, it’ll appear to change color, turning red and briefly becoming the galaxy’s largest and most awesome early Halloween decoration. You won’t want to miss it, so if you can tear yourself away from whatever usually captivates your interest for a while to stare at the skies, tonight’s the night.

Sources: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Twitter
Image: Twitter
[ Read in Japanese ]