Update: Here’s a new video from the Wall Street Journal, showing beautiful photos of last night’s eclipse. Did you watch? Tell us about it in the comments and link to any photos you took!

 

Many residents of North America, and a few in South America, will be able to see a total lunar eclipse tonight — the first of 2014. Here’s astronomer Michelle Thaler from Nasa’s Goddard Space Center explaining more.

The moon turns red during a total eclipse of the moon

A lunar eclipse late Monday / early Tuesday morning will turn the moon red.

The eclipse will reach the middle of totality at 3:46am Eastern (12:46am Pacific time) but this peak moment is part of a lengthy, multi-stage process. Space.com reveals much more in its detailed viewing guide:

No enthusiastic skywatcher misses a total eclipse of the moon, and if weather permits tonight, neither should you.

The spectacle is often more beautiful and interesting than one would think. During the time that the moon is entering into and later emerging from out of the Earth’s shadow, secondary phenomena may be overlooked. You can also watch the eclipse live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA, the Slooh community telescope and the Virtual Telescope Project.

Observers that know what to look for have a better chance of seeing the stunning eclipse, weather permitting. This first total lunar eclipse of 2014 is set to begin tonight (April 14) into the wee hours of Tuesday morning (April 15). The lunar eclipse is set to begin at about 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT), and it should last about 3.5 hours. The eclipse should be visible, weather permitting, through most of North America and part of South America.

NPR’s Science Friday also produced an excellent audio segment on the lunar eclipse including common misconceptions and astronomer Andrew Fraknoi’s explanation of what the eclipse would look like from the moon. Give it a listen while you’re trying to stay awake tonight!

More from NASA:

 

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Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim released under a GNU Free Documentation License.