by Photo courtesy of NASA/Goddard/Ernie Wright

San Diegans may want to see the total lunar eclipse Tuesday night because it will not return for another three years. 

According to NASA, the celestial event will occur at 3:02 a.m E.T. or 12:02 a.m P.T. The next lunar eclipse will not take place until March 14, 2025, though we will continue to see partial and penumbral lunar eclipses during that time.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon align so that the Moon passes into Earth’s shadow. In a total lunar eclipse, the entire Moon falls within the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra. 

According to NASA, the moon will turn a reddish hue when it’s within the Umbria. Lunar eclipses are sometimes called “Blood Moons” because of this phenomenon. The moon turns red because the only sunlight reaching the moon passes through the Earth’s Atmosphere. The more dust or clouds in the earth’s atmosphere, the redder the moon will appear. 

“It’s as if all the world’s sunrises and sunsets are projected onto the moon,” NASA wrote on its website. 

Special equipment is not required to see the eclipse, but binoculars or a telescope will enhance the view and the red color. A dark environment away from bright lights makes for the best viewing conditions, according to NASA. 

The stage where the moon is entirely in the Earth’s shadow will be visible across North and Central America and in Ecuador, Colombia, and western portions of Venezuela and Peru. 


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