Stargazers in San Diego will have a little over an hour to witness a blood moon grace the night sky on Sunday during a rare total eclipse.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon align so that the Moon passes into Earth’s shadow, according to NASA. During a total lunar eclipse, the entire Moon falls within the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra, turning a reddish hue.
The total eclipse will begin at 8:29 p.m. Pacific time. It will begin to fade at 9:53 p.m, and the Moon will fully exit the eclipse phase at 10:55 p.m.
Totality, the period where the Full Moon is completely covered by the Earth’s shadow, will last for about an hour and 25 minutes.
The total lunar eclipse will completely end by 11:50 p.m.
NASA explains that Rayleigh scattering, which makes the sky blue and our sunsets red causes the Moon to turn red during a lunar eclipse
“Light travels in waves, and different colors of light have different physical properties. Blue light has a shorter wavelength and is scattered more easily by particles in Earth’s atmosphere than red light, which has a longer wavelength,” Nasa said.
Since the only sunlight reaching the moon passes the Earth’s atmosphere during a lunar eclipse, the moon turns red. The more dust or clouds in Earth’s atmosphere during the eclipse, the redder the Moon will appear.
“It’s as if all the world’s sunrises and sunsets are projected onto the Moon,” NASA wrote.
NASA plans to live stream the lunar eclipse.