The last total lunar eclipse in three years arrives on Tuesday

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – You better catch Tuesday’s moon disappearing — there won’t be another like it for three years.

The total lunar eclipse will be visible across North America in the pre-dawn hours – the further west the better – and in Asia, Australia and the rest of the Pacific Ocean after sunset. As an added treat, Uranus will be visible just a fingertip above the moon, resembling a bright star.

Totality will last nearly 1 1/2 hours — from 5:16 a.m. to 6:41 a.m. EST — as Earth passes directly between the moon and the sun.

Known as a blood moon, it will appear reddish-orange from the light of Earth’s sunsets and sunrises. At the peak of the eclipse, the moon will be 242,740 miles (390,653 kilometers) away, according to NASA scientists. Binoculars and telescopes will improve visibility, provided the sky is clear.

South America will see the lunar eclipse on Tuesday, weather permitting. Excluded as a whole, Africa, the Middle East and most of Europe will have to wait until 2025.

Among those providing live coverage of Tuesday’s lunar extravaganza: the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and the Italy-based Virtual Telescope Project.

This is the second total lunar eclipse this year; the first was in May. The next one won’t be until 2025. In the meantime, many partial lunar eclipses will be available.

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