The moon will glow a scarlet color during this year’s first total lunar eclipse on Sunday — a stark contrast to its ordinarily milky white sheen.
Not everyone will be able to catch a glimpse of the total lunar eclipse because it needs to be nighttime to see it, said Noah Petro, chief of NASA’s Planetary Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Lab.
How to view the eclipse
It is perfectly safe to view a lunar eclipse with your naked eye, according to Petro.
“That’s the great thing about lunar eclipses is that you require no other gear other than a passion and interest in being outside and a clear horizon,” Petro said.
For optimal viewing conditions, avoid bright lights and tall buildings that could obstruct your view, he said.
While the eclipse’s peak may only last for a short amount of time, the moon’s coppery tones will change throughout the night, according to Petro. These changes make this celestial phenomenon interesting to watch throughout the eclipse rather than at a particular moment, he said.
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Lunar and solar eclipses
Partial solar eclipses occur when the moon passes in front of the sun but only blocks some of its light. Be sure to wear proper eclipse glasses to view solar eclipses safely as the sun’s light can be damaging to your eyes.
A partial solar eclipse on October 25 will be visible to those in Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northeastern Africa, the Middle East, western Asia, India and western China. It won’t be visible from North America.
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- Alpha Capricornids: July 30-31
- Southern Taurids: November 4-5
- Northern Taurids: November 11-12
If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive to a place that isn’t littered with city lights to get the best view.
Find an open area with a wide view of the sky. Make sure you have a chair or blanket so you can look straight up. And give your eyes about 20 to 30 minutes — without looking at your phone or other electronics — to adjust to the darkness so the meteors will be easier to spot.