Even if you don’t need to stay up late Monday night to finish taxes, you might want to. Starting after midnight there will be what’s called a “blood moon.” It’s a full lunar eclipse, and it’s the first of a rare series of eclipses over the next two years.
As earth’s shadow crosses in front of the moon late Monday night, we will begin to see a dull, red glow, similar to the color visible at sunset.
Mary Urquhart, a planetary scientist and associate professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, explains the colorful eclipse is the first of four, consecutive total lunar eclipses occurring at approximately six-month intervals.
While lunar eclipses occur roughly twice a year, only a fraction are total eclipses, and many are not visible from North America.
To catch a glimpse, Urquhart says start looking high in the night sky around 1:00 am central time.
“That’s when you’ll start to see the partial eclipse form,” she says, “It takes about an hour, a little bit more, and that moon will appear to vanish and then [you’ll see] that eerie red glow.”
“During the three hundred year interval from 1600,1900, for instance there were no tetrads at all,” says NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak.