In the early morning hours Tuesday an event that sometimes doesn’t happen for centuries will take place — a total eclipse of the moon when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow, turning it different shades of red and orange. It will be readily viewable throughout North America with the naked eye, according to NASA.
NASA will stream the event live online here. According to NASA, the best time to view the total eclipse is between 3 and 4:15 a.m., but it will start shortly after midnight Tuesday and continue throughout the night.
There will be three other lunar events this year and next year, but that’s not common, experts say. There have been times when a total lunar eclipse hasn’t occurred for centuries, including a 300-year period from 1600 to 1900.
“Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth,” according to Wikipedia. “A lunar eclipse lasts for a few hours, whereas a total solar eclipse lasts for only a few minutes at any given place, due to the smaller size of the moon’s shadow. Also unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are no brighter (indeed dimmer) than the full moon itself.”