A lunar eclipse against a background of stars. Courtesy of NASA

Election Day 2022 will be charged with excitement both politically and celestially, with a total lunar eclipse lasting more than an hour visible in most parts of the United States, including Southern California.

Members of the Riverside Astronomical Society and the Temecula Valley Astronomers are expected to be stargazing when the eclipse occurs in the predawn hours of Nov. 8. According to NASA, the eclipse will begin just after midnight on the West Coast, when the Moon enters the penumbra. The Moon won’t be shrouded in Earth’s shadow until roughly two hours later.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth’s orbit places the blue planet completely between the Sun and the full moon, blocking all direct sunlight from reaching the lunar surface.

During a total eclipse, the Moon appears to take on a red hue.

According to NASA, the alignment will last close to 90 minutes, ending at about 3:40 A.M. Pacific Standard Time. There will be a partial lunar eclipse for another hour afterward.

The next total Lunar eclipse visible from the continental U.S. won’t occur until March 14, 2025, according to NASA.

Unlike a solar eclipse, no special eye wear is required to observe a Lunar eclipse.

More information is available at eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEdecade/LEdecade2021.html.

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