SALT LAKE CITY — Weather permitting, Utahns will be treated to a total eclipse of the moon on Sunday night.
Lunar eclipses occur when the sun, Earth and moon form a straight line and the moon hides in Earth's shadow.
According to Patrick Wiggins, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory solar system ambassador to Utah, the moon will start to move into the Earth’s shadow about 8:34 p.m., when it’s about a third of the way up the eastern sky.
Totality begins a little over an hour later, at 9:41. The moon will then start to emerge from the shadow at 10:43 and be clear of the darkest part of the shadow by 11:50 p.m.
While many have taken to calling this a blood red moon eclipse, Wiggins notes there's really no way to say beforehand what color the moon will be during totality. The possibilities include grey, orange, copper and red. But it's also possible it will be so dark that it's invisible to the naked eye.
Wiggins suggests that those wanting to see whatever color the moon turns should try to get far away from urban light pollution.
For those in the Salt Lake Valley wanting to stay closer to home, the Salt Lake Astronomical Society and the University of Utah will be hosting eclipse watches that are free and open to the public.
The society will have telescopes available in the parking lot of the Harmons grocery store, 5454 S. Redwood Road, in Taylorsville. The U.'s event will be held at the South Physics Observatory, which is located on the roof of the South Physics Building, 125 S. 1400 East.
The last lunar eclipse visible in Utah happened last January but was clouded out for most Utahns.