Sky watchers across much of the world will have the chance to see the moon glowing with an eerie red sallowness during a pre-Halloween total lunar eclipse Oct. 8th.
“It promises to be a stunning sight, even from the most light-polluted cities,” NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak said in a statement. “I encourage everyone, especially families with curious children, to go out and enjoy the event.”
The “blood moon” total lunar eclipse will rise during the full moon of Oct. 8th just before sunrise in North America, but red might not be the only color people see during the total eclipse. Weather permitting, it’s possible that some sharp-eyed observers might be able to see some blue in the moon’s glow. The event will be the second of four consecutive total lunar eclipses in 2014 and 2015, according to NASA officials.
On the East Coast of the United States, totality starts at 6:25 a.m. EDT (1025 GMT), but stargazers on the West Coast of the United States will have an even better chance of seeing the rusty glow of the moon during totality. The eclipse will occur between 3:25 a.m. PDT and 4:24 a.m. PDT Wednesday. Observers in Australia and countries along the Pacific Ocean will also have the chance to see the eclipse.
Next week’s eclipse is the second in a so-called total lunar eclipse tetrad, a series of four consecutive eclipses that began earlier this year. The first total eclipse tetrad occured in April. The next total eclipse in the series will occur on April 4, 2015, and the fourth eclipse will rise on Sept. 28, 2015.
During total lunar eclipses, the moon passes into Earth’s shadow, causing the planet to darken the face of the moon, according to NASA. Instead of making the moon go completely dark, the moon shines with a rosy hue during a total eclipse because it reflects light from the sun coming through Earth’s atmosphere.
The color of the moon during a lunar eclipse actually depends on Earth’s atmosphere. For example, a lot of volcanic activity on the planet can pollute the atmosphere and make the moon seem very dark in color during an eclipse, according to NASA.
Total Lunar Eclipse October 8th Will Turn The Moon Blood Red (Video).