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Moon-Day! Tonight’s a Night for Lunar Eclipse

Monday night’s marvels are value staying adult late for: Not usually will Mars be bigger and brighter than it’s been for some-more than 6 years, though you’ll also be means to see a initial sum lunar obscure in some-more than dual years.

Total lunar eclipses start when Earth is positioned precisely between a object and a full moon. Because of a lean of a moon’s orbit, sum eclipses don’t occur all that mostly — about twice in a march of 3 years, on average. When they do, it can be a fantastic sight: The darkened moon takes on a reddish heat given of a object refracted by Earth’s atmosphere.

The final sum lunar obscure took place in Dec 2011, though we’re entrance adult on a array of 4 such events, famous as a tetrad, that is commanded by a regularity of a right orbital parameters. After Monday night’s eclipse, a other 3 are due on Oct. 8, and afterwards subsequent year on Apr 4 and Sept. 28.

“The many singular thing about a 2014-2015 tetrad is that all of them are manifest for all or tools of a USA,” eclipse consultant Fred Espenak pronounced in a NASA preview.

Moon-Day isn’t Doomsday

Some doomsayers are selling a “Blood Moon” tetrad as an immorality omen, though that’s bogus. The usually thing that’s frightful about this obscure is what it competence do to your nap schedule: The moon won’t start channel into Earth’s shade until 12:53 a.m. ET Tuesday, and a sum proviso of a obscure lasts from 3:06 to 4:24 a.m. ET. Espenak lays out a sum on NASA’s eclipse-centric Web site.

Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are manifest to half a universe during a same time. This time around, North America is primary territory, though portions of a obscure can be seen from tools of South America, Europe and Asia usually before sunrise, and tools of Asia and a Pacific usually after sunset.

You might have listened all those warnings about protecting your eyes during a solar eclipse — though a lunar obscure is totally different, and totally safe. Look all we want. Want a closer look? Use binoculars. Want to take a picture? Espenak tells we how.

Even if a skies are cloudy, we can get in on a uncover over a Web and around amicable media. To keep adult with a stream, follow a hashtag #eclipse and keep an eye on NASA’s Facebook page.

Image: Eclipse mapSky Telescope

NASA is formulation an “Up All Night” chat that starts during 1 a.m. ET Tuesday and continues until a obscure is totally finished, around 5 a.m. ET. NASA astronomer Mitzi Adams and astrophysicist Alphonse Sterling will be accessible to answer your questions. A live Ustream perspective of a lunar eclipse, supposing by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, will accompany a commentary.

You can also balance in eclipse coverage on NASA TV starting during 1 a.m., and share your obscure pics around NASA’s Flickr group.

The Slooh practical look-out is formulation a possess webcast during 2 a.m. ET Tuesday, featuring live feeds from several locations and explanation from horde Paul Cox and astronomer Bob Berman. Guests embody Timothy Ferris, author of “Seeing in a Dark”; and Duncan Copp, writer of a award-winning film “In a Shadow of a Moon.” Tune in a uncover around Slooh.com, YouTube or a Slooh iPad app, and ask questions regulating a hashtag #slooh.

The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 has a webcast as well, starting during 2:30 a.m. ET.

Image: Eclipse timesSky Telescope

Get in on Mars and more

The moon isn’t a usually spacey captivate out there: It’s also primary time for saying Mars during a biggest and brightest. Mars reaches a closest indicate to Earth in a circuit on Monday, flitting by during a stretch of 57 million miles (92 million kilometers). On Monday night, it’ll arise usually before a moon and gleam like a butterscotch-colored star probably all night. Check out a observation beam for a details.

This is a closest Mars has been given late 2007, though after Monday night, Mars will incline from Earth for about a year, afterwards make another proceed for an even closer confront in 2016. Slooh is formulation a separate observation celebration for Mars, starting 10 p.m. ET Monday.

The International Space Station should be manifest flitting by dusk skies over some tools of a United States — to get a observation report for your location, deliberate NASA’s “Spot a Station” website. Jupiter, Saturn and Venus are also out: For sum on those night sights, conduct on over to EarthSky and Sky Telescope.

Monday night will be a tough act to follow, though there’s some-more to come. In a weeks ahead, dual meteor showers will be attack their peak: a Lyrids and a Eta Aquarids. Getting adult in a center of a night for Moon-Day will be good knowledge for those entrance attractions.

Got cinema to share? Alert us to them by regulating a hashtag #NBCEclipse on Twitter or Instagram, promulgation your favorite around a FirstPerson photo-upload page, or pity them on a NBC News Science Facebook page.

Tip o’ a Log to Sky Telescope for a obscure print and graphics.

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