This year, nature brings us a special pre-Halloween treat: a blood moon. In the US and Canada, lift your eyes skyward in the early hours tomorrow morning for the second total lunar eclipse of 2014.
The Moon veiled slowly red and back the first time this year in April. Just over 5% larger than that phenomenon, Wednesday morning’s hour-long total eclipse will rival the supermoons in size because it appears right after the Moon’s perigee, the closest point to Earth in its orbit.
The view of the blood moon will be best from the western US and Pacific Ocean and regions. Africa, Europe, and the Middle East will miss it, being on the daytime side of earth when it occurs. Have a look at the map for your location. People in the unshaded area will see it best.
Here’s the timetable:
Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 08:15:33 UT
Partial Eclipse Begins: 09:14:48 UT
Total Eclipse Begins: 10:25:10 UT
Greatest Eclipse: 10:54:36 UT
Total Eclipse Ends: 11:24:00 UT
Partial Eclipse Ends: 12:34:21 UT
Penumbral Eclipse Ends: 13:33:43 UT
The Moon will appear much darker to its south than in the northern half because the south lies deeper in the umbra. This blood moon will be the second in a sequence of four lunar eclipses in a row—a “tetrad”—that are occurring in roughly six-month intervals. The next one will appear on April 4, 2015, and the last one on September 28, 2015. In 2015, we’ll also have two solar eclipses (one only partial).
Here‘s where you’ll find the NASA Eclipse Web Site. Get useful help with eclipse observing and photography of the dramatic blood moon here. And if you happen to get clouded out but would still like to observe, watch the eclipse online in a live webcast by the astronomy site Slooh.
NASA plans to live-chat through the event starting at 3 a.m. Eastern and continuing on until sunrise. The space agency is holding an AMA on Reddit from 4 to 5 p.m. today for you to get questions in.