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Seattle-Area Skygazers May See Glimpse Of 'Blood Moon' — If They're Persistent

Fred_Espenak_NASA_Goddard_Space_Flight_Center.jpg
Fred Espenak
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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The "blood moon" glows reddish in the Earth's shadow.

The Puget Sound region won’t be the best place to take in the lunar eclipse in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. High clouds are likely to obscure the so-called “blood moon,” which flushes reddish in the shadow of the Earth.

University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass says the northwest Washington coast might fare better. And cloud breaks might give even Seattle-area moon-gazers a glimpse — if they keep looking.  

“That’s probably the most important advice I could give people is: if you don’t see it at one time, go back out there 15 minutes later, and you may be lucky,” he said. (You can check out the forecast models and an explanation of the physics on Mass’ blog.)  

Unlike other astronomical events, a lunar eclipse is perfectly visible from most urban areas. The full eclipse will take place from about midnight to 1 a.m., as the Earth passes directly in between the sun and the moon. The reddish color comes from sunlight being filtered by the earth’s atmosphere – the same phenomenon that makes sunsets red.

Gabriel Spitzer is the Host and Senior Producer of Sound Effect, KNKX's "weekly tour of ideas inspired by the place we live." Gabriel was previously KNKX's Science and Health Reporter. He joined KNKX after years covering science, health and the environment at WBEZ in Chicago. There, he created the award-winning mini-show, Clever Apes. Having also lived in Alaska and California, Gabriel feels he’s been closing in on Seattle for some time, and has finally landed on the bullseye.