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Apr 14, 2014 01:15 PM EDT

Blood Moon Eclipse To Be Visible Tuesday

On Tuesday, sky-watchers will be treated to a "blood moon" lunar eclipse, the first of four red moon eclipses expected over the next year and a half, CTV News reported.

On April 15, the moon will be eclipsed by the Earth's amber shadow for the first time this year, producing a midnight eclipse visible across North America from approximately 3 a.m. to 4:24 a.m. Eastern Time, CTV News reported.

This phenomenon will begin a lunar eclipse tetrad - a series of four consecutive total eclipses occurring at approximately six month intervals, according to Officials at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

"The most unique thing about the 2014-2015 tetrad is that all of them are visible for all or parts of the [United States]," longtime NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak said in a prepared statement.

The moon is expected to glow an eerie red-orange shade, a phenomenon astronomers call "a blood moon," or hunter's moon," CTV News reported.

The color is caused by the light from sunsets and sunrises glinting off the circumference of the Earth. This light beams into the heart of Earth's shadow, filling it with a coppery glow and transforming the Moon into a great red orb, according to NASA officials.

The effect is similar to that of the sun turning the clouds red or pink during a sunrise or sunset, according to CTV News.

The eclipse on Tuesday eclipse begins at 2 a.m. Eastern time when the edge of the Moon first enters the amber core of Earth's shadow.  Totality occurs during a 78 minute interval beginning around 3 o'clock in the morning on the east coast, midnight on the west coast.  Weather permitting, the red Moon will be easy to see across the entirety of North America.

The total eclipse of April 15, 2014, will be followed by another on Oct. 8, 2014, and another on April 4, 2015, and another on Sept. 28 2015. 

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