The first in a series of four lunar eclipses will happen tonight. If weather doesn’t get in the way, it’s likely to be a spectacular show for much of the United States — much of the Western Hemisphere, in fact — overnight tonight into early morning tomorrow.
The peak of the eclipse will happen starting at around 2 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday (11 p.m. Pacific time Monday). By 3 a.m., and lasting for more than an hour (about 78 minutes), the moon will look a beautiful reddish color, hence its nickname as the Blood Moon. “You might expect Earth seen in this way to be utterly dark, but it’s not,” Tony Phillips wrote for Science@NASA. “The rim of the planet is on fire! As you scan your eye around Earth’s circumference, you’re seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all of them, all at once.”
If setting an alarm for the middle of the night doesn’t sound appealing, the next in the tetrad of total lunar eclipses will take place Oct. 8, 2014, followed by another on April 4, 2015, and the final one on Sept. 28, 2015. For the truly lunar-obsessed, here’s more detailed information about the eclipses from NASA.
Otherwise, all you’ll likely need to do to see this sight is step outside and look up. And if you’re anything like Neil deGrasse Tyson, perhaps you’ll be thinking about something, er, a little more pleasant than blood when you turn toward the skies. The astrophysicist tweeted the following: “I understand that some people want to call this eclipse the ‘Blood Moon.’ If it’s red, I’ll be thinking of rose petals.”
Below is a forecast for each region of the country. Happy moon gazing.
Mon. Night/Early Tue. Forecast
Mon. Night/Early Tue. Forecast
- Viewing chance: Poor for many
- A cold front will push into the East and Deep South, with rain, thunderstorms and attendant clouds from the northern Gulf Coast to parts of New England. Parts of eastern New England, central and south Florida may have the best chance to experience sufficient breaks in the clouds to see the eclipse.
- Forecasts: New York | Atlanta | Miami
- Viewing chance: Good for most
- Most of the Plains states from the Dakotas to all but far southeast Texas should have great viewing conditions – especially from indoors. It will be unusually cold for mid-April, with numerous record lows possible across the central and south-central states by dawn Tuesday morning. Lows will plunge into the 20s as far south as the Texas Panhandle. Lingering clouds and rain or snow will inhibit viewing in the Ohio Valley and lower Mississippi Valley.
- Forecasts: Chicago | Kansas City | Dallas
- Viewing chance: Excellent for most
- Most of the Rockies and Desert Southwest should be clear. Some low clouds and fog may hug the Pacific Coast from western Washington to Southern California. Showers are possible in western Washington.
- Forecasts: Denver | L.A. | Seattle
We would love to see your amazing photos and video of the lunar eclipse. Upload them at weather.com/photos, or share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Your photo or video may make our eclipse slideshow.
There is a man on the moon. Kind of. What we see from Earth that looks like a face is actually a bunch of impact basins filled with dark basalt rock, according to NASA. (NASA)