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Eclipse of the Century: The Blood Moon Rises

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Total Lunar Eclipse blood moon. Don’t miss this rare, celestial event! On the night of September 27th, there will be a lunar eclipse in which the moon will turn blood red, due to the effect of refraction through Earth’s atmosphere. This is known as a blood moon and is not to be confused with an eclipse of the sun, which would look like one-half of the sun would appear covered by the moon during daylight hours.

When is the total lunar eclipse?
The total lunar eclipse will occur on Wednesday, July 27, 2018. It will be visible from North and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific. The timing for North America is 4 a.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET (check what time it occurs in your location here). Clouds could get in our way but even so, there’s still a chance that we can see something spectacular!

Total Lunar Eclipse blood moon
On Friday night, April 15th, the moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow and turn an eerie shade of red.

When is best to view this ‘blood moon’?
While there’s never a bad time to view an eclipse or lunar eclipse, in particular, NASA reports that mid-northern latitudes in North America will have prime viewing on Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Central and southern parts of North America can catch at least part of it during the moonset Thursday morning. For anyone located farther south (or far up in northern latitudes), you’ll need to set your alarm clock and get up early for a chance to see it.

In pictures, what is a ‘blood moon’?

Total Lunar Eclipse blood moon
On Friday night, April 15th, the moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow and turn an eerie shade of red.

The blood moon phenomenon is due to a rare alignment between Earth, Sun, and Moon. As sunlight passes through Earth’s atmosphere on its way to the moon, it gets filtered through particles in our air. These change their color from white to red, creating a blood moon.

How rare are total lunar eclipses?
Lunar eclipses are relatively common. There are usually at least two per year, with partial eclipses being even more common. However, a total lunar eclipse is rarer—in fact, they occur only once every few years. And when one does occur, it’s an excellent opportunity to view a phenomenon that’s never been seen by anyone alive today. What makes total lunar eclipses so amazing? That depends on how long you’ve been alive!
How do solar and lunar eclipses happen?
At any given moment, there are two things in our skies—the sun and the moon. Occasionally, when these two orbiters block each other out, we see a total solar eclipse (when Earth blocks out the sun), or a total lunar eclipse (when Earth blocks out the moon). These alignments happen about once every year and a half. But when do these two occur at almost exactly the same time?
Is there another ‘blood moon’ coming?
On Wednesday, October 8th, a total lunar eclipse will occur. It is sometimes referred to as a blood moon, due to its reddish appearance. During totality (the time during which sunlight is blocked by Earth’s shadow), a blue-violet color is also cast upon the moon. When it rises on October 8th over North America (including Hawaii and Alaska), viewers will see what’s being billed as the eclipse of the century.

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