There will be a total lunar eclipse on Sunday night.
Unlike a solar eclipse, lunar eclipses are visible over a large area, so no matter where you are in North or South America, it’s happening.
Also unlike a solar eclipse, you don’t need special glasses or any kind of gear. Just hope for clear skies, step outside and look up.
“You can stare at it all you want to,” said David Dundee, the astronomer at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville.
The moon will be high in the sky, so buildings and trees won’t block the view. As the earth’s shadow covers the moon, the moon will look red. That’s because red sunlight bends around the earth’s atmosphere and still hits the moon. The moon will also look sort of flat, said April Whitt, astronomer at Fernbank Science Center.
“Like a plate, almost,” she said. “During the totality part of the eclipse — right around midnight — it really is very flat-looking, like a piece of paper almost, rather than a lot of mountains and valleys like it usually looks.”
Here in Atlanta, the eclipse begins at 10:33 p.m. Sunday night, will be total starting at 11:41 p.m. and will begin its darkest point at 12:12 am.
Though you don’t need equipment to see the eclipse, the Tellus Science Museum and Fernbank Science Center are both holding public watch parties with their telescopes.
On that note, Dundee said he got a great question a few years ago about eclipses: “Somebody asked, ‘Do eclipses have any profound effect on human behavior?’ And I say, ‘Absolutely. It causes them to get up in the middle of the night and visit science museums.’”
The next total lunar eclipse visible here will be May 26, 2021.