A shadowy spectacular in store for Fairfield

Cast your eyes skyward very early tomorrow morning and you’ll likely get a spectacular view of a celestial phenomenon.

And, no, it’s not the shadow of a jolly old elf, drawn in a sleigh across the moon-lit skies by flying reindeer.

Instead, the moon itself is the star, as it passes through earth’s shadow, creating a full lunar eclipse that, depending on the cloud cover, should be clearly visible across southwestern Connecticut, as well as the rest of North and South America.

The eclipse will start about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday in most of the Eastern Standard Time zone, according to most astronomical websites, and last until about 5 a.m. — with the “total” phase, or darkest full shadow, from 2:40 to 3:50 a.m.

The shadow is expected to be a particularly deep orange, or red, because of particles in the atmosphere, including volcanic ash.

The “MrEclipse” website has lots of info on the lunar eclipse here, and this site has a cool animation and graphics on what you can expect to see.

John Schwing