Blazing Red 'Blood Moon' To Appear In The Sky On Election Day

After next week, the awe-inspiring phenomenon will not occur again for about three years.

The moon will turn a shade of red before passing into the Earth’s shadow for a total lunar eclipse Tuesday.

The “blood moon” is a normal part of a total lunar eclipse. Lunar eclipses occur when a full moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. In a total lunar eclipse, the moon slips into the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra, which causes it to appear red, according to NASA.

This combination of pictures shows the moon in various stages of a total lunar eclipse.
This combination of pictures shows the moon in various stages of a total lunar eclipse.
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

In that position, the moon only receives sunlight that has passed through the Earth’s atmosphere. As the space agency puts it, “It’s as if all the world’s sunrises and sunsets are projected” onto the moon.

Next week’s eclipse will take place in the early hours of election day in the United States. NASA shared a chart last month showing the timing of different stages of the eclipse in the Eastern and Pacific time zones, with the moon slipping completely into Earth’s shadow at 5:17 a.m. ET and 2:17 a.m. PT.

A total lunar eclipse seen from Temple City, California, on May 15, 2022.
A total lunar eclipse seen from Temple City, California, on May 15, 2022.
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The phenomenon will be visible across North and Central America, Asia, Australia and parts of South America. After next week, a total lunar eclipse will not occur again for about three years.

While looking directly at a solar eclipse can cause eye damage, it’s totally safe to look at a lunar eclipse with the naked eye.

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