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How to watch the shortest total lunar eclipse of the century

Wake up early to catch this historic blood moon.


Lisa Granshaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Apr 2, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 4:12 am CDT

There will be a historic astronomical event on Saturday, but if you want to catch it, be prepared for an early start.

April 4 will feature the third lunar eclipse in less than a year, but it’ll start early and last for only four minutes and 43 seconds.

NASA said in a statement that the eclipse would be the shortest of the century, due to “the fact that the Moon is skimming the outskirts of Earth’s shadow rather than passing centrally through it.”

The event will begin at 6:16am EDT, while the total eclipse will happen at 7:58am EDT. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will stream the eclipse on Ustream. The observatory website will also host a livestream.

You’ll also notice the moon looking red during the eclipse, creating what many call a “blood moon.”

“During the eclipse, the Moon often looks reddish because sunlight has passed through Earth’s atmosphere, which filters out most of its blue light,” NASA explained.

If you’re wondering whether you’ll be able to see the eclipse, you can check your location using NASA’s visibility world map. In the United States, those east of the Mississippi River will only catch a partial eclipse—it will be interrupted by sunrise—while those west of the river will be able to see the entire event.

NASA astronomer Mitzi Adams will answer questions about the eclipse on Twitter through the @NASA_Marshall account. You can ask Adams anything you want using the hashtag #eclipse2015 from 6am to 8am EDT.

The next total lunar eclipse will occur on Sept. 28. 

H/T CNN | Screengrab via ScienceAtNASA/YouTube

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*First Published: Apr 2, 2015, 4:10 pm CDT