Tuesday will bring a spectacle in the night sky worth staying up for when the moon turns a burnt reddish orange.
The moon will begin to change color at about 1:58 a.m. ET Tuesday as it starts to slide into the Earth’s shadow until it becomes a “blood moon” at 3:07 ET, NASA says. The best part of the show, the total eclipse portion, will last through 4:24 a.m. ET.
The height of the event will take place at 3:45 a.m. ET.
The big problem for potential viewers in the eastern United States will be the cloud cover, which is expected to hide the show from half of the country, save for cities on the coastline, which might be able to peek through.
But cities including Dallas, Denver and Los Angeles should have optimal viewing. NASA said the entire event can be viewed by people in the Americas, while observers in the western Pacific will catch the second half of the event.
The moon will be setting in most of Europe and Africa during the eclipse, so residents there probably won’t see much.
This one is just the first in a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses.
Within a year and a half, North America will be able to see a blood moon a total of four times. The moon takes on this color during the eclipse as it passes through the Earth’s shadow, which is the color of a desert sunset.
The four blood moons will occur in roughly six-month intervals on the following dates: April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015, and September 28, 2015.