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Supermoon lunar eclipse coming right up: Watch it live

There's a lunar eclipse coming Sunday night and you can watch it live, right here.

A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth's shadow falls on the moon, turning its face an eerie reddish brown.

This particular eclipse is extra special because it happens to coincide with the biggest, brightest moon of the year, also known as a "supermoon."

That won't happen again until 2033.

READ MORE: Your scientific guide to this Sunday's supermoon lunar eclipse

There are no tricks to seeing a lunar eclipse. All you have to to do is look up to see the clockwork of our solar system playing out in real time before your eyes.

But if the skies are cloudy, or you prefer not to be outside, or you want some expert commentary to accompany your moon gazing, there are several ways to watch the lunar eclipse online.

  • Beginning at 4:45 p.m. PDT, you can tune into the Coca Cola Space Science Center's live webcast of the lunar eclipse from its location at Columbus State University in Georgia. Viewers are encouraged to email questions to webcast@ccssc.org and the center's astronomers will try to answer as many as they can on air.
  • At 5 p.m., the astronomy website Slooh.com will begin hosting its live broadcast of the eclipse from telescopes in three countries, including one at England's Stonehenge. Commentators will discuss what causes lunar eclipses, the different ways people have understood the moon throughout history, and why this lunar eclipse does not herald the end of times. Viewers can use the hashtag #SloohEclipse to ask questions.
  • Finally, Sky & Telescope will host its live coverage of the eclipse beginning at 6 p.m., which you can access at the top of this page. Experts will talk about the moon's interior, the best way to photograph a lunar eclipse, and eclipse geometry. 

The eclipse itself technically begins at 5:40 p.m., but it won't be visible here on the West Coast until 6:40 p.m., when the moon rises, already engulfed in Earth's shadow.

The total eclipse, when the full face of the moon is covered in shadow, starts at 7:11 p.m. and ends at 8:23 p.m.

After that, you can watch the moon slowly emerge from Earth's shadow until just before 10 p.m., when the last, faintest bit of shadow, called the penumbra, disappears from the lunar disk.

Happy sky watching! 

Science rules! Follow me @DeborahNetburn and "like" Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook.

 

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