If you live in the western United States, set your alarm tonight. The total lunar eclipse Saturday morning promises to be big and bright--and we won't get another one until 2014.
It starts around 4:45 a.m. PT, when Earth's shadow will begin to fall across the moon. By 6:05 a.m., the moon will be in full eclipse mode and glowing red. One atmospheric scientist who's become adept at predicting such events expects this eclipse to be "bright red with a possible hint of turquoise." Find out more--and why the moon will appear "supersized"--in the video above from NASA.
In all this darkness, NASA will be taking the moon's temperature. More specifically, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will take the temperature of the lunar surface as it cools. From these measurements, scientists can surmise the density and size of moon rocks. And what might the lunar eclipse look like from the moon? Check out the video from NASA below.
Update 5 p.m. PT: There will be a live feed of the lunar eclipse starting at 5 a.m. PT Saturday on the Slooh SpaceCamera Web site.