The mainstream media is abuzz with reports of a "blood moon" on Tuesday morning. The scientific term is "lunar eclipse." On April 15th at 6 minutes past midnight Pacific Time (3:06 a.m Eastern Time), the Moon will enter the sunset-colored colored shadow of Earth, producing a total eclipse of the Moon:
Above: A total lunar eclipse on Dec. 21, 2010. Photo credit: Gary A. Becker
The color of Earth's shadow, and thus the color of the eclipsed Moon, depends substantially on the amount of volcanic ash and other aerosols floating in the stratosphere. According to atmospheric sciences professor Richard Keen of the University of Colorado, the stratosphere is clear. This means the eclipse will be not "blood red," but rather bright orange.
See for yourself. The event will be visible from Australia, New Zealand, and all of the Americas: visibility map. It's so bright, even observers in light-polluted cities will have no trouble enjoying the show. Got clouds? No problem. The event will be broadcastlive on the web by the Coca-Cola Science Center at Columbus State University in Georgia.
For more information about the eclipse, get the full story and a video from Science@NASA.