'Blood moon': Total lunar eclipse visible throughout North America early Tuesday morning

Astronomy enthusiasts will have a front-seat view early Tuesday morning of a total lunar eclipse, the first visible throughout North America since December 2012.

The eclipse, known as a "blood moon," will peak at about 3 a.m. EST (2 a.m. CST) and should last around 3.5 hours.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly behind the Earth into its umbra. During the total eclipse, the entire moon is shadowed and turns a sunset-red color for about an hour as the eclipse unfolds, hence the name “blood moon.” 

To find out when to see the exact phases of the eclipse, see the U.S. Naval Observatory page.

This upcoming eclipse may not be visible to those in areas with heavy cloud cover.  Thanks to NASA, those in cloudy areas or for those who don’t wish to step outside, Space.com has a live stream.

There are four total eclipses in the next 18 months -- known as a "tetrad."  Some believe the tetrad is linked to Biblical prophesies of the apocalypse. The theory was published in the book "Four Blood Moons" by John Hagee in 2013.

LINK: Read more about the 'Blood Moon Prophecy'

The next three total lunar eclipses will be visible Oct. 8, 2014, April 4, 2015 and Sept. 28, 2015.

Mobile users can view an informational video from Space.com here.

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