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Turn Around, Bright Eyes

By Margaret Lyons in News on Oct 27, 2004 4:16PM

Lunar EclipseTonight is the last total lunar eclipse until 2007. You'll be able to see it with the naked eye, but scientists say binoculars or low-grade telescopes will still enhance the experience. And unlike solar eclipses, it's safe to watch. Chicagoist thinks a romantic eclipse picnic is in order, drinking Blue Moon beers and eating moon pies and mooning people and listening to "Bad Moon Rising." We're big on themes.

The eclipse will be visible in North America, South America, Western Europe, and Africa. The eclipse begins shortly after 7, but you won't be able to see anything interesting until 8:14 p.m. The total part of the total lunar eclipse begins at 9:23, and it's possible that the moon will look blood red at that point. "No two eclipses are alike, however, and astronomers can't say for sure what color to expect, if any," which is some kinda bullshit, if you ask us. The color depends on the amount of dust in the earth's atmosphere, and because the moon won't be passing through the center of the earth's shadow, "it will likely be brighter and more colorful than in recent years," according to Larry Ciupik, an astronomer at Adler Planetarium. The excitement ends at 10:54.

This is the first lunar eclipse ever to occur during the World Series, which has to be some kind of sign.

You can head over to the Adler Planetarium for free telescope viewings from 7 p.m.-12 a.m. Or you can cough up $5 for the show Moon Madness, "a live eclipse explanation and re-enactment Sky Show in the Adler's historic Sky Theater."