"Recent volcanic activity also could contribute to a darker and redder moon."
Early Wednesday morning North America can witness the second 'Blood Moon' or lunar eclipse this year.
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Weather permitting, the eclipse should be visible to anyone in Australia, parts of East Asia, and parts of South America as well. The full eclipse will start at 5:25 a.m. CT, NASA says, and last until 6:24 a.m. CT.
It will be the second in a sequence of four — called a tetrad — that are occurring in roughly six-month intervals. The next one will appear on April 4, 2015, and the last one on September 28, 2015.
Tony Phillips, an astronomer with SpaceWeather.com, says to imagine yourself on the Moon. "Overhead hangs Earth, nightside down, completely hiding the sun behind it. The eclipse is under way. You might expect Earth to be utterly dark but ... the rim of the planet is on fire."
"You're seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all at once," Phillips wrote in an article on NASA's science website.
"The light beams into Earth's shadow, filling it with a coppery glow that colors the moon red," he said.
"Recent volcanic activity also could contribute to a darker and redder moon, Senior Astronomer Larry Ciupic said. The moon is likely to appear most red in the 10 to 15 minutes before the total eclipse takes place about 5:25 a.m. Chicago time," he said.
"The problem is that it’s pretty low in the sky, so it’s going to be a little difficult for us to see the whole thing," Ciupic said. "We’re expecting to see it until about 6:30."
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The entire eclipse will be visible from the Pacific Ocean, regions immediately bordering it and the northwestern section of North America.