Written by By Rob Levitt, CNN
The moon is doing “something weird” this weekend, according to NASA, and everybody’s going nuts.
A partial lunar eclipse — when the moon passes through the shadow of the Earth and becomes slightly darker — is expected to occur Saturday night and continue until early Sunday morning.
Light from the sun refracts in Earth’s atmosphere, creating a bit of “glare” in the sky. Because the light only reaches the Earth a few hours after the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, it has less energy and hence appears darker.
Parts of the United States and Canada will be able to see the event, while Africa, Europe, South America and western Asia will miss out.
Saturday’s partial eclipse will be the first of three in 2019, each lasting about an hour and a half. But according to National Geographic , in 2019, there will be about four total lunar eclipses — one every month.
Across the globe, telescopes and cameras will record events so they can later compare photos with similar images taken in the past.
Saturday’s eclipse is being called a “blunder” eclipse because the moon will almost be hidden from view, said Gerald Eichstädt, a technical advisor with the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Moscow State Institute of Earth Sciences.
However, many will also be having the time of their lives.
For starters, the eclipse is visible at 9 p.m. local time, so people can watch it in the early hours of the next day.
“This is going to be the most spectacular eclipse of the year, with a remarkable tilt in the Great American Eclipse on August 21,” Misha Kormeluk, a meteorologist at GEM, told SpaceWeather.com
For those who can’t see the eclipse, a partial eclipse can be seen by gazing at the craters of the moon when it is closest to the Earth.
When the moon has got your attention, several “moon tides” will occur during the eclipse.
People looking at the sun may see the moon gyrating sideways between our two suns, or “the odd forward and backward lunar motions, along with the effect of ocean tides from the tide height due to the moon not being perfectly aligned,” NASA said in a tweet.
Those standing at the equator will also see the difference in the time of day visible on the moon as the sun gets closer. On the moon, the hour changes from 7:24 p.m. to 10:04 p.m.
The total eclipse — when the moon disappears completely from view — will take place July 31.