Last total lunar eclipse for three years arrives on Tuesday

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Better catch the moon’s disappearing act Tuesday — there won’t be one 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 across Asia, Australia and the rest of the Pacific after sunset. As an added treat, Uranus will be visible just a finger’s width above the moon, looking like 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 a reddish-orange from the light from 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 viewing, provided the sky is clear.

South America will catch a glimpse of Tuesday’s lunar eclipse, weather permitting. If you go all out, Africa, the Middle East and most of Europe will have to wait until 2025.

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

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

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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