A very rare astronomical event is happening this week, but due to winter weather, most Montanans won't be able to witness it.

Girl looking at lunar eclipse through a telescope. My astronomy work.

The last total lunar eclipse for three years will occur in the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 8. The earth, sun, and moon will align for what is known as a "Blood Moon." The eclipse is expected to last nearly five hours.

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Tuesday's lunar eclipse will mark the second of 2022. The first of the year occurred in mid-May. The next lunar eclipse won't happen until March 14, 2025.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast in Montana isn't favorable for viewing the rare event. Cloud cover throughout much of the state is expected on the morning of the lunar eclipse. In a total lunar eclipse, the entire Moon falls within the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra.

Blood Moon
Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash

I'm a total nerd when it comes to meteor showers and anything that has to do with astronomy. I'm pretty bummed that we won't be able to see the lunar eclipse this week. Normally, you don’t need any special equipment to observe a lunar eclipse, although binoculars or a telescope will enhance the view and the red color. When conditions permit, the best place to view an eclipse is someplace dark that's away from bright lights.

However, there is some good news. If you're interested, NASA will be live streaming the total lunar eclipse on Tuesday morning. Click here to access the live stream.

The learn more about the total lunar eclipse, click here.

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