Sunday night’s sky will feature a red moon, marking this year’s first lunar eclipse.
A lunar eclipse typically occurs only twice a year when the moon moves into Earth’s shadow, becoming entirely hidden from the sun’s direct light.
The light that bounces off the Earth will illuminate the moon and change it from the usual white to a coppery red, according to NASA.
The moon will begin entering the Earth’s shadow at 6:32 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, making it darker than usual. However, the moon won’t be viewable from San Luis Obispo until 7:53 p.m.
At 8:29 p.m., the moon will be entirely covered by Earth’s shadow and colored orange-red. Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service told Mustang News this stage is the beginning of the total eclipse.
The moon will keep the unusual color until 9:54 p.m. Then, it will begin moving out of the Earth’s shadow. During its exit, the moon will slightly darken again and, when completely out of Earth’s shadow, will revert back to its usual white color.
“If you’re near the beaches or within a few miles of the ocean, there’s a chance you could see low clouds which could obscure the moon,” Sirard said.
Sirard said that besides clouds in coastal regions, the lunar eclipse should be fairly easy to spot.