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Total lunar eclipse to occur early Saturday

A total eclipse of the moon will occur Saturday morning, but sky watchers won’t have long to see it.

That’s because the eclipse will only last 4 minutes and 43 seconds, the National Weather Service said.

A total lunar eclipse is when the Earth’s shadow falls completely across the moon. The total eclipse will begin at 4:58 a.m. By 5:03, the totality will be waning and will continue to diminish until the moon moves out of the Earth’s shadow.

The last time a lunar eclipse was that short was 1529, the weather service said. The reason for the quick eclipse relates to the tilt of the moon’s orbit around Earth, and the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

The weather service said skies should be clear for good viewing from the Valley.

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