The only total lunar eclipse of 2019 will occur on Sunday, when the shadow of the Earth falls on the moon, turning it into a reddish-orange "blood moon."
The total phase of the eclipse will be visible from the western hemisphere, from Europe and the western part of Africa, as well as from northern Russia. Assuming good weather conditions, the lunar drama will have a potential audience of about 2.8 billion people.
The best views will be in North America, which will see the eclipse in the midst of the mid-winter night sky starting at 9:56 PM Eastern Time.
It will be the first time in more than three years that most of North America will be able to see a total lunar eclipse, according to NASA.
People on the eastern side of North America will have the best view, but they will be visible from coast to coast, and the duration of the totality will be greater than usual – just over an hour.
Spectators in Europe will see the eclipse low in the sky to the west as the moon approaches its dusk in the early hours of Monday. Moon-watchers in Central and Eastern Europe will see the moon before it is completely free from Earth's shadow.
The name "blood moon" comes from the reddish orange color that the moon takes during the eclipse. The color changes because the small molecules that make up Earth's atmosphere spread the blue light as sunlight passes through it, leaving behind mainly the red light that bends or refracts in the shadow of the Earth.
As a bonus, the Sunday eclipse will occur during a "super moon" when it is closest to Earth in its orbit and therefore will appear larger and brighter.