If you like your night sky to look like the cover of a 1960s sci-fi novel, you’re in luck. The next total blood moon eclipse is coming this weekend.
According to NASA, a lunar eclipse—when the sun, Earth, and moon align and the moon passes into Earth’s shadow—is due May 15 and May 16. It’s a total eclipse, meaning the moon falls into the darkest part of the Earth's shadow, or umbra, and will appear to have a reddish hue, hence the “blood moon” moniker.
You could also refer to it as a supermoon, as the moon will appear larger owing to being closer to Earth in its orbit; some also refer to it as a flower moon because of its appearance in spring, when flowers are blooming.
Visibility will depend on where you’re located. Those in the eastern half of the United States and South America will be able to see all stages; the totality can be observed from western Europe, Africa, Central and South America, and most of North America.
The moon’s colorful appearance is possible because the only light hitting it from the sun will be coming through the Earth’s atmosphere. Blue light scatters, while red light tends to pass through directly.
The moon is expected to be fully within the umbra beginning at 11:29 p.m. EST on May 15, with the totality beginning to fade around 12:53 a.m. and concluding around 2:50 a.m.
To see the eclipse, it’s best to try and view it from a dark area without a lot of bright lighting and minimal clouds. A pair of binoculars or a telescope will help. If visibility is low in your area, you’re in luck: NASA will be live-streaming the event here.
[h/t ABC News]