Lunar eclipse coming bright and early Saturday - KPTV - FOX 12

Lunar eclipse coming bright and early Saturday

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Few things in life are worth setting your alarm for 6 a.m. on a Saturday, but this may be one of them.

Stargazers will have a chance to witness a lunar eclipse this weekend, the final chance for Americans to see such a phenomenon until April 2014.

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In Oregon and Washington, you'll want to cross your fingers for clear skies and poke your head outside just before dawn.

OMSI representatives say the action starts at 3:33 a.m. with the penumbral eclipse, but the point of the total lunar eclipse doesn't start until 6:06 a.m.

The point of the greatest eclipse occurs at 6:31 a.m., says planetarium manager Jim Todd.

"What makes it so much fun is that no one can predict what color the moon will turn during totality," Todd says.

The total eclipse will end at 6:57 a.m., Todd says, and the moon will set at 7:45 a.m. Todd says the most important factor will be having clear sky on Saturday morning to view the eclipse.

According to NASA, a lunar eclipse is when the "Earth comes between the sun and the moon so that all or part of the sun's light is blocked from the moon." Sunlight passing through the earth's atmosphere will "cast a glow on the moon."

The earth's atmosphere filters out blue light, leaving only the orange and red colors, changing the moon into a dark shade of red once the earth is completely blocking the sun.

Lunar eclipses are able to be viewed with the naked eye, unlike solar eclipses.

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