A lunar eclipse will turn the moon blood-red on Saturday at 7:58 a.m. EDT for a scant five minutes — the shortest lunar eclipse of the century.
Sky and Telescope reported
that the eclipse is the third eclipse in what astronomers call a "tetrad," four consecutive total eclipses at roughly six month intervals. The fourth will come on September 28.
Like the last eclipse in the tetrad, which occurred on Oct. 8, this weekend's eclipse is highly visible to skywatchers North America.
Viewers west of the Mississippi River will have the best view, as those east of it will have the lunar eclipse somewhat interrupted by sunrise.
"During the eclipse, the moon often looks reddish because sunlight has passed through Earth's atmosphere, which filters out most of its blue light," NASA officials said in a statement
. "This eerie, harmless effect has earned the tongue-in-cheek nickname 'blood moon.'"
Along with its statement, NASA released an informative video that uses diagrams to explain how the moon, Earth, and sun will interact on Saturday.
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