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A Total Lunar Eclipse Is Happening Tuesday — And It Won't Happen Again For 3 Years

A full round moon is tinged red against the night sky.
A total lunar eclipse creates a "super blood moon" on May 15, 2022 in Huntington Beach.
(Michael Heiman
/
Getty Images)
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A total lunar eclipse is happening Tuesday, and it might be a good time to catch a peek, because the next one isn't for three years.

In LA
  • Griffith Observatory will not have an in-person viewing of this eclipse. The observatory is hosting an online broadcast (weather permitting), beginning at midnight Tuesday and continuing overnight until 6 a.m.

The initial phase of the eclipse begins at 12:02 a.m. PT, according to NASA. The partial eclipse then begins at 1:09 a.m. PT, when to the naked eye it will look like a bite is being taken out of the moon. The lunar disk enters totality at 2:17 a.m. PT and will last for about an hour and a half.

People in North America, Central America, Colombia, and western Venezuela and Peru will be able to see the eclipse in totality. Those in Alaska and Hawaii will be able to see all stages of the eclipse.

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A map of the world has the moon at the bottom center and curved lines showing when the lunar eclipse will be visible.
(Courtesy NASA)


For the best view, go to a dark area with little light pollution. Of course, the projected rain storm may make it impossible to see the show.

A lunar eclipse happens when the sun, Earth and moon align. During a full lunar eclipse, the moon falls completely in the Earth's shadow.

The phenomenon causes the moon to appear red, often nicknamed a "blood moon." During a lunar eclipse, what little sunlight that's left passes through Earth's atmosphere to get to the moon. The more cloudy or dusty the atmosphere is, the redder the moon looks.

"It's as if all the world's sunrises and sunsets are projected onto the Moon," NASA said.

The next full lunar eclipse will occur on March 14, 2025, but there will be partial lunar eclipses before then, according to NASA.

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  • Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit npr.org.