A total lunar eclipse will grace the Washington skies on Sunday—if the clouds clear out and let the moon have its chance in the spotlight. Peak viewing starts just after 9pm.
The moon will become a burnt-orange-colored orb, known in almanacs as a blood moon, and will also appear larger than usual. This lunar eclipse occurs just before the moon reaches its closest point to the Earth during its nearly month-long cycle, so the orange coloring coincides with a supermoon.
The whole show will last about 85 minutes while the Earth blocks the sun’s shadow from the moon, and our extraterrestrial companion reflects sunlight refracted by our atmosphere to create a ghoulish color.
Unlike a solar eclipse, no special eyewear is needed to safely marvel at this natural wonder. Binoculars, telescopes, and long camera lenses only add to the fun. The only requirement is a view to the southeast—and clear skies in a spring with record-breaking rainfall.
If clouds persist, a road trip east of the Cascades may be in order to catch the sight; those skies are more reliably clear. Or you could be patient. The next total lunar eclipse visible from the Puget Sound occurs in six months, and you could likely score reservations at Alki Beach’s Il Nido before the November 8 galaxy event.
And because backup plans are essential: Norway-based Time and Date will livestream the eclipse.