Millions across North and South America on Sunday night will have a chance to witness a total lunar eclipse, a show not seen in the United States since Dec. 21, 2010.
Observers in Colorado will have great viewing conditions as the skies are likely to be mostly cloud-free and temperatures will be in the high 30s during the eclipse, the National Weather Service hourly forecast shows.
The eclipse will begin its first stages about 7:30 p.m. MST, but the entirety of the eclipse will last about three hours.
The totality of the eclipse will have the moon glowing an eerie red-orange as it enters the middle of Earth’s shadow. The maximum eclipse will occur just before 9:45 p.m. and last for about an hour.
Those who miss this eclipse will have another chance to see one on May 26, 2021, according to AccuWeather News.
The Air Force Academy is hosting a free observation event that is open to the public at the academy’s newly renovated planetarium. A film will be shown prior to the eclipse, enlightening viewers about the lunar event. Visitors can enter through the North Gate starting at 6:30 p.m. and will need to leave the campus by 10:30 p.m.
The Colorado Springs Astronomical Society is hosting a Star Party at the visitor center at Garden of the Gods from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m.
Sunday night’s eclipse will occur when the full moon is closer in its orbit to Earth, making it a “super-moon.”
The reddish color on the moon during Sunday night’s eclipse is attributed to Earth’s atmosphere. Molecules left behind in the atmosphere give off a red light that refracts into Earth’s shadow, which falls on the moon during a lunar eclipse.
“This same effect is what gives sunrises and sunsets a reddish-orange color,” NASA’s website states.