Written by by by Laetitia Barcenas, CNN
Eclipses of the moon are a natural phenomenon, but they’re not supposed to happen every year.
In fact, not since 1518 has a full lunar eclipse occurred less than 14 days apart, according to calculations by NASA. On Sunday, that happened, and on Monday, a partial lunar eclipse is set to occur.
This will be the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century, NASA said, taking place at 2:45 p.m. ET. If all goes as planned, this will be the longest full lunar eclipse in nearly 600 years, or 74 minutes.
It also won’t be the last total lunar eclipse of the year. Next month, a total lunar eclipse will come an hour after a blood moon — when a different type of lunar eclipse happens during the month of January. It’s called a blood moon because the moon appears reddish-orange in color.
“This lunar eclipse is called a blood moon because the moon can be seen during the eclipse having a reddish or orange tint,” NASA said.
The red color is caused by sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere, NASA said. For example, certain chemicals in the atmosphere change the color of the moon. This same chemical process takes place during Earth’s shadow when it casts a lunar eclipse.
The eclipse coincides with the partial phase of the total solar eclipse on Sunday night.
If you’re in the United States, you might not have to travel far to see a partial lunar eclipse: The event is visible from much of the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Atlantic Ocean, Alaska and Japan.
Here are some of the options to catch the eclipse:
1. NASA livestream
NASA is livestreaming a 40-minute video of the event on its website, Facebook and YouTube. It’ll kick off with a sunrise view of the moon as it rises over California.
2. Weather or weather cam
Weather is the wild card for the partial eclipse, but at this point, it’s not looking too scary.
A partial eclipse does not mean the moon will turn completely red. It means that you can see a red shaded “bite” on the moon, CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.
She recommended using a weather cam to see the effects. If you live in one of the places that will have a clear view, look up, put your phone on video and stream it.