- A total lunar eclipse will occur on Wednesday, January 31, starting at 4:52 a.m. PST.
- The total eclipse lines up with a supermoon, when the moon is biggest in the sky, as well as a blue moon, the second full moon in a calendar month.
- In the United States, the total lunar eclipse will only be visible in the West, Alaska, and Hawaii.
- NASA will the total lunar eclipse from three observatories in the West for those who cannot see it due to geographic location or weather. Scroll down for an embedded stream.
On Wednesday, January 31, stargazers in the western United States are in for a treat. The moon, about as large as it can be in the sky, will turn a blood red color in the hours before dawn. The celestial event is a lunar trifecta: a supermoon (a moon at perigee, the closest to Earth that it gets in its orbit), a total lunar eclipse (a blood moon), and a blue moon (the second full moon of a calendar month).
The last time one of these "super blue blood moons" appeared in the sky was December 30, 1982, and the next one won't be until January 31, 2037. While those in the western United States, Alaska, and Hawaii are perfectly situated on the planet to watch the show, those on the East Coast are not so fortunate. In the eastern U.S., the moon will set and the sun will rise before the total lunar eclipse begins, meaning you will not be able to see the moon turn a vibrant orangish-red. And no matter where you are, there is always the chance of cloud cover ruining the cosmic show. (Check out our full article on the eclipse to find out how much will be viewable in your home state).
Fortunately, NASA will be the entire eclipse (weather permitting) with telescopes placed in three locations across the West: the Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California; Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles; and the University of Arizona’s Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Observatory.
The starts at 5:30 a.m. EST/2:30 a.m. PST, before the earliest phase of the eclipse begins, runs for four-and-a-half hours until 10:00 a.m. EST/7:00 a.m. PST, and is embedded below. The total lunar eclipse, when the moon glows red from passing into the direct shadow of the Earth, begins at 7:52 a.m. EST/4:52 a.m. PST and lasts for one hour and 16 minutes. Along the Atlantic seaboard, the sun will have already risen by the time totality begins, but closer to the Pacific you should be able to step outside in the pre-dawn hours and see the eclipse for yourself, assuming there is no cloud cover.
If you cannot see the eclipse directly for whatever reason, place of residence or inclement weather, NASA will have you covered with a telescopic view of the triple lunar phenomenon.