(NECN: Joe Joyce) - Have you ever seen a Total Lunar Eclipse? If you haven't, you're going to get your chance overnight.
This first total Lunar eclipse is set to begin around 2 a.m. Tuesday, April 15. The whole event should last about three and a half hours, with a 78 minute total eclipse between 3-4 a.m. Do you think you will make it?
A total eclipse happens when the full moon, Earth and Sun are in perfect alignment. The moon passes through the Earth's shadow. During the eclipse, the moon can take on a colorful appearance from orange to blood red. It is because of this color, that overnight's full moon is being called the "Blood Moon."
During the eclipse, the Earth's atmosphere will scatter the sun's red visible light, the same process that turns the sky red at sunset. As a result, the red light will reflect off the moon's surface, casting a reddish rust hue over it.
No special filters are required to protect your eyes like those used for solar eclipses. You don't even need a telescope, although a good pair of binoculars could help.
Of course, all viewing of the stars and moon is always weather permitting. Clouds will be increasing overnight. It is hard to say if they will completely block the view altogether, but the clouds are expected to at least dim or mute the view. 3 a.m. is a tough wake up call for a fuzzy view of moon!
If by chance you do not see this one, you will have other chances. It will be followed by eclipses on Oct. 8, 2014, April 4, 2015, and Sept. 28, 2015 — all of them visible from all or part of the United States.